The well-regarded Michael Oâ€™Brien was demoted although will have his hands full with Gaming, Consumer Affairs and Energy/Resources. Both Gaming and Energy are very tricky areas to manage in government and Baillieu will be hoping his potential leadership rival is sorely tested by whining pokies militants and angry electricity consumers.
Also considered shafted was Mary Wooldridge who lost the portfolios she liked and thought sheâ€™d done well with, Environment and Climate Change, but kept the potential killing-fields of Community Services where the Minister is responsible for everything that goes wrong with troubled kids. The previous minister Lisa Neville is a tough, smart cookie but barely got out alive from that horrible portfolio. Her predecessor Christine Campbell had a horror run with it too.
Both Oâ€™Brien and Wooldridge are believed to have reasonably indiscreetly canvassed support in the event of what once seemed likely to be a leadership transition after another election loss. Ted showed them and now heâ€™s really showed them. Wooldridge is loosely in Baillieuâ€™s faction while Oâ€™Brien is in the potentially endangered Kroger faction and had been discussing a joint ticket for generational change before Ted fired up, slayed the Greens, promised big and saved his best for last, peaking at exactly the right time.
Their card has been marked and both will be closely watched by Tedâ€™s new praetorian guard of advisers including the feared axe-man Petro Georgiou who while soft on asylum seekers is ruthless with internal foes, as federal MP and patriot Josh Frydenberg can attest.
Federal MPs are said to be pushing very hard against Petro becoming the Premierâ€™s Chief of Staff either now or down the track.
The other two smarting from the allocations and who â€“ on talent â€“ would undoubtedly have been selected for the ministry are the two former upper house leaders Phil Davis and Andrea Coote. We hear they are not pleased. And while justified in public as sticking with the team that brought them into office, a shafting is still a shafting.
They resigned a couple of years back from Tedâ€™s frontbench and the upper-house leadership as an expression of concern at the direction of what was at times looked a ramshackle and mediocre show.
The fact theyâ€™ve got nothing suggests that thereâ€™s not a lot of reconciliation love coming their way anytime soon. The pressure will be on Ted to give them something, perhaps Parliamentary secretary positions where they can play understudy to the less capable and less diligent.
While Baillieuâ€™s people say they had it coming and deserved nothing, there are plenty in the Ministry who are considerably less able than those two.
Some of them received ministerial allocations so light they make former Labor Community Development Minister Lily Dâ€™Ambrosio look overworked by comparison.
Plodder Gordon Rich-Phillips and ethnic warlord Nick Kotsiras are just two thought to be there for reasons other than merit.
Richard Dalla-Riva was sent something of a love-gesture though by Red Ted. He is said to be very happy with his ministerial allocation including basically being the lead government minister dealing with business. He has been exceptionally grumpy the past couple of years, including with his former mate the Premier, after being hung out to dry over false claims that he propositioned a teenage girl. We suspect Dalla-Riva will now go on from strength to strength, one of the few in Baillieu cabinet who could be reasonably considered politically savvy. He will be one of their best ministers.
The other curious message sent by the announcement was the expansion of the number of ministers by 10%. When youâ€™ve pledged to cutting waste thatâ€™s a silly signal to send to the Greens-supporter dominated Victorian Public Service whoâ€™ll be actively resisting cuts to anything.
While it didnâ€™t get any coverage from the state Gallery, VEXNEWS understands there were three drafts of the ministry allocations that went out listing the ministers before the correct version was distributed. The first version left out new Deputy Premier and Nats hard-man Peter Ryan who on the weekend was chuckling about ambulances visiting John Brumbyâ€™s residence. Many told VEXNEWS we were being overly sensitive about this, the first time weâ€™ve faced allegations of sensitivity for some time. We still think it was off but it is perhaps an indication that Ryan â€“ a former criminal lawyer specialising in keeping rogues from Gippsland out of jail â€“ will take on the Hulls head-kicker role.
So whomever left Rhinoâ€™s name off no doubt had to tram it down to DJâ€™s for a quick underwear change. This is the full and final list. Parliamentary Secretaries to be announced soon. Who will be the first one to fall?
- Edward “Ted” Norman Baillieu MP – Premier, Minister for the Arts
- Peter Julian Ryan MP – Deputy Premier, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Bushfire Response, Minister for Regional and Rural Development
- Louise Asher MP – Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business, Minister for Tourism and Major Events
- Robert William Clark MP – Attorney-General, Minister for Finance
- Richard Alex Gordon Dalla-Riva MLC – Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade
- David McLean Davis MLC – Minister for Health, Minister for Ageing
- Hugh Delahunty MP – Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
- Martin Francis Dixon MP – Minister for Education
- Matthew Guy MLC – Minister for Planning
- Peter Ronald Hall MLC – Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Minister responsible for the teaching profession
- Nicholas Kotsiras MP – Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship
- Wendy Ann Lovell MLC – Minister for Housing, Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development
- Andrew John McIntosh MP – Minister for Corrections, Minister for Crime Prevention, Minister responsible for the establishment of an anti-corruption commission
- Terry Wynn Mulder MP – Minister for Public Transport, Minister for Roads
- Denis Vincent Napthine MP – Minister for Ports, Minister for Regional Cities, Minister for Racing, Minister for Major Projects
- Michael Anthony O’Brien MP – Minister for Gaming, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Energy and Resources
- Elizabeth “Jeanette” Powell MP – Minister for Local Government, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
- Gordon Kenneth Rich-Phillips MLC – Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Technology, Minister responsible for the aviation industry
- Ryan James Smith MP – Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Minister for Youth Affairs
- Peter Lindsay Walsh MP – Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Minister for Water
- Kimberley “Kim” Arthur Wells MP – Treasurer
- Mary Louise Newling Wooldridge MP – Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Women’s Health, Minister for Community Services