Dan Andrews departs

Zaida Glibanovic and Liam Durkin

VICTORIA was stunned last week after the shock announcement of Daniel Andrews’ resignation as Premier of the state.

Mr Andrews dropped the bombshell on Tuesday, September 26 that he would be resigning as Victorian Premier and Member for Mulgrave effective from 5pm the following day.

In his own words, Mr Andrews said that “when it is time, it is time”.

Mr Andrews led Labor to three straight election victories since establishing office in 2014, and was the state’s longest-serving Labor premier.

“It’s not an easy job being the Premier of our state – that’s not a complaint, that’s just a fact,” he said.

The 51-year-old has been a divisive figure in politics, as a polarising leader with a strong hold over Victorian Labor.

Despite the widespread criticisms of launching the toughest lockdowns in the country during the COVID pandemic and initiating industry closures, Mr Andrews was convincingly re-elected in November, 2022.

With most of Gippsland occupied by safe Nationals Party seats, Mr Andrews faced no shortage of opposition on local issues during his time in office.

His legacy in Gippsland may not be overly positive due to a number of controversial decisions such the cessation of native timber harvesting, the botched electric vehicle factory in Morwell, and the cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, which were to have events in Gippsland.

While the Premier did announce a return of the State Electricity Commission as part of an election promise, some have labelled it as nothing more than a token gesture at best.

Locally, Mr Andrews also faced tough criticism from rank-and-file voters for hardly ever getting out on the road and visiting regional towns past Traralgon to hear their concerns.

A comment piece by former Gippsland Times journalist Sarah Luke titled ‘Our Premier missing in action’, was presented to Mr Andrews by Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien in 2019.

Addressing the public alongside his wife Cath, Mr Andrews said it was an honour and a privilege to have served his nine years in office.

“Nine years ago, I visited Government House to be sworn in as the 48th premier of Victoria – it has been the honour and privilege of my life,” he said.

“I’m also proud to think of all that we have achieved over these nine years in good times, and always working hard to do what’s right, not simply what’s popular.”

Despite only just being re-elected last year, the self-proclaimed “workaholic” said “thoughts of what life will be like after this job started to creep in.”

“It requires 100 per cent from you and your family, that of course, is time-limited, and now is the time to step away.”

Mr Andrews has been replaced by his deputy, Jacinta Allan, with Ben Carroll now deputy.

New Victorian Deputy Premier Ben Carroll on the campaign trail in Gippsland last year, flanked by Labor candidate for the seat of Morwell, Dr Kate Maxfield. Photo: File