On Tuesday the 26th of September 2023, Daniel Andrews, the longest-serving Labor Premier of Victoria, announced his resignation from office at a snap media conference. His resignation took effect at 5pm on the 27th of September, wherein Jacinta Allan became Leader of the Victorian Labor Party and consequently the new premier of Victoria.
At the press conference, Mr. Andrews was joined by his wife, Catherine, and sons, Noah and Joseph, stating:
“When it is time, it is time…Recently, in talking to my kids and Cath, thoughts of what life will be like after this job has started to creep in…I have always known that the moment that happens it is time to go and to give this privilege, this amazing responsibility to someone else…The very best part of this job is meeting and listening to thousands and thousands of people from every walk of life, from every part of our state, from every background on every point of view…I will be forever grateful for the honour of leading this very special place.”
The Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, had stated he was “surprised” upon learning of Mr. Andrews’ intentions to resign and praised his character stating that Mr. Andrews was:
“...a person of deep conviction, great compassion and fierce determination…He brought all those qualities to his time as premier of Victoria…Dan has always been a builder and in education, health, infrastructure and housing he has built an extraordinary legacy that will endure for generations.”
While Ms. Allan was successful in her bid to become leader of the party, Treasurer Tim Pallas and Infrastructure Minister Ben Carroll were also tipped to potentially assume the role.
Mr. Andrews leaves a legacy of having maintained thepreferred Premier rating consistently since he was first elected in 2014, but also for he and his government having received extensive criticism for their handling of lock downs during the COVID-19 Pandemic and a series of anti-corruption probes.
2013 Vehicle Collision with Cyclist
In 2013, a collision took place between a cyclist, Ryan Meuleman, and Mr. Andrews' vehicle which was being driven by his wife, Catherine, at the time of the incident. The collision resulted in Mr. Meuleman suffering a punctured lung, broken ribs and losing 90% of his spleen.
Mr. Meuleman claimed that Mr. Andrews' vehicle was "speeding" and "seemed to come out of nowhere" as he rode his bicycle across Ridley Street in Blairgowrie. Mr. Andrews claimed that Mr. Meuleman was "moving at speed, he absolutely T-boned the car, hit it at such force he was literally inside the car."
The incident was brought back to media attention during the first week of the 2022 Victorian election campaign, with Mr. Meuleman reporting to the media that he was offered an $80,000 payout from the Transport Accident Commission when he turned 18 on the condition of never discussing the crash.
UFU IBAC Investigation
In October of 2021, reports emerged that Victoria’s anti-corruption body, IBAC, has been reviewing the conduct of Mr. Andrews and a senior public servant regarding their role in controversial deals that benefited the United Firefighters Union (UFU) and its boss, Peter Marshall. Opposition leader, Matthew Guy, linked the recent resignation of NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to Mr. Andrews' situation:
“The Premier when in opposition made a habit of calling for people to stand down who are being investigated by IBAC...The Premier in NSW has just stood down for being investigated by an anti-corruption commission. Now [Mr Andrews] is being investigated, and he refuses to stand down. I hope that tells the whole state of Victoria about his state of integrity. Of course he should stand down.”
However, in contrast to the NSW Premier's case, there was no suggestion that Mr. Andrews had not disclosed a personal interest and the state authority body had given no indication that it intended to hold public hearings or was investigating adverse allegations involving Mr. Andrews.
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