Today I am announcing changes to the Liberal Nationals Shadow Cabinet. As we reach the halfway point of this term, these changes will enable my team to better hold the Andrews Labor Government to account for its failings and offer Victorians a strong and positive alternative for the future.
I am pleased to welcome Matthew Guy MP to my Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Minister for Finance, Shadow Minister for Jobs and Trade and Shadow Minister for Business Precincts. With Victoria’s debt exceeding that of even the Cain/Kirner government and our state in a jobs crisis, Matthew will be a strong voice for Victorians left behind by Labor’s economic mismanagement.
Deputy Liberal Leader Cindy McLeish MP takes on the portfolios of Tourism, Major Events and Sport. As Victoria seeks to recover from the damage done by Labor’s second wave lockdowns, these areas will be critical to our state’s future. As Member for Eildon, Cindy understands the importance of tourism and, as a former sports administrator, she is ideally placed to take on this responsibility for the Liberal Nationals.
I welcome David Hodgett MP to the education portfolio. Reflecting the importance of a seamless approach in this critical area, David will be responsible for education, early childhood, higher education as well as training and skills. With Victorian students facing serious challenges relating to literacy and numeracy, David will highlight the gulf between Labor’s “education state” rhetoric and reality.
David Morris MP moves to a newly created portfolio of Shadow Minister for Public Sector Integrity and Transparency. With the Andrews Labor Government’s rampant politicisation of the Victorian Public Sector David will work to ensure that the Victorian Public Sector Commission does its job and that Labor’s abuse of the VPS for partisan purposes is called out. Labor’s lack of transparency in relation to public sector finances will also be a focus. Responsibility for broader anti-corruption agencies such as IBAC and the Victorian Ombudsman remains with the Shadow Special Minister of State Kim Wells MP.
Gordon Rich-Phillips MP takes on responsibility for Government Services, Regulatory Reform and the Digital Economy. Gordon is committed to ensuring that Victorians are better served by government and understands that the use of technology can deliver better outcomes. Opportunities for reducing useless red tape will also be identified so the community isn’t further burdened by pointless Labor regulation.
Ryan Smith MP adds Manufacturing and Innovation to his existing responsibilities for Energy and Renewables and Resources. The Liberal Nationals have proposed a $1 billion ‘Bringing Manufacturing Home’ fund to boost our local manufacturing and value adding sectors and the local jobs they can create. Ryan will be a strong advocate for these economic opportunities.
Given the critical importance of Victoria recovering from the economic, social and health disaster that was caused by Labor’s second wave and lockdowns, I will add the position of Shadow Minister for COVID Recovery to my role.
Outside Shadow Cabinet, I am pleased to appoint Dr Matt Bach MP as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Education, Early Childhood, Higher Education, Training and Skills. As an experienced former teacher and school leader, Matt will play an important role in working with David Hodgett to improve education and skills outcomes for all Victorians.
Richard Riordan MP will add Assistant Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government to his existing responsibilities. Richard has demonstrated through his position as Deputy Chair of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee that he is an effective voice in exposing Labor dishonesty and hypocrisy and this new role will enable him to continue to do so beyond PAEC hearings.
These appointments take effect from today.