Bull, Northe promoted to cabinet

GIPPSLAND MPs Tim Bull and Russell Northe have been promoted into the state government’s cabinet.

Gippsland East MLA Tim Bull has been named the new Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Local Government, replacing retiring MP Jeanette Powell.

The portfolios will be Mr Bull’s first since entering parliament at the 2010 election.

Morwell MLA Russell Northe has received the energy and resources and small business portfolios, replacing another retiring MP, Nick Kotsiras. Through his energy ministry, Mr Northe responsibilities will include the Latrobe Valley’s power industry.

An MP since 2006, Mr Northe was previously parliamentary secretary for small business and tourism.

Outgoing Eastern Victoria MLC Peter Hall, who was Minister for Higher Education and Skills, resigned from parliament only hours before the new cabinet was announced.

Members of the new cabinet will be sworn in by Governor Alex Chernov on Monday.

Premier Denis Napthine was confident new team would continue the work already underway to build a better Victoria.

“These changes reflect the depth of talent across the Victorian Coalition Government. The new ministers and parliamentary secretaries have a breadth of skills, bring different life experiences and backgrounds and fresh ideas and new thinking to our already strong cabinet,” he said.

Gippsland South MLA and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan has retained the ministries of rural and regional development and state development.

Narracan MLA Gary Blackwood remains Parliamentary Secretary for Transport.

Another Eastern Victoria MLC, Edward O’Donohue, remains the liquor and gaming regulation, corrections and crime prevention portfolios.