Daniel Andrews has resigned as Premier of Victoria after making his mind up “in the last few days”.
Premier Andrews said he’s decided to step down as the state’s leader after “always working hard to do what’s right, not simply to do what’s popular”.
He will officially stand down at 5 pm tomorrow.
The decision was announced at a snap press conference outside Victorian Parliament House.
Premier Andrews said, “It’s not an easy job being the premier of this state; that’s not a complaint, just a fact.”
The Andrews Labor government was elected into power in 2014, with the Premier leading his party to a third term in November 2022.
He became Labor’s longest-serving Premier in Victoria earlier this year – and has been regarded as a divisive figure, loved on the left and disliked on the right.
Earlier this year, the Andrews government announced an early end to native timber harvesting in the state by the close of 2024.
This decision dramatically accelerated the original plan announced by the Andrews government in 2019, which targeted phasing out native timber logging by 2030.
Premier Daniel Andrews noted, “It’s not good enough to just cross our fingers and hope for the best. We need a plan to support workers’ families and local jobs.”
According to Environmental Minister Ingrid Scott, the transition will see the most significant expansion to public forests in Victorian history – “protecting precious biodiversity and endangered species.”
The decision was controversial, with federal ALP members claiming the decision was “handled poorly” and local reports that the government did “not follow the science, with Phillip Hopkins of the Gippsland Times reporting that the industry was “closed on flimsy evidence.”
At the time, Premier Andrews justified the decision to exit native forest management based on a Court of Appeal by the state-operated VicForests against the Supreme Court ruling to halt logging in parts of the state “after the forestry company failed to survey protected glider species adequately,”
VicForests lost the appeal, with the Victorian State Government starting the process of dismantling the body. Earlier this month, the State Government altered the company’s status from being a “State Business Corporation”.
Instead, it will now be a “Reorganising Body,” which allows it to move the function and staff around. The move paves the way for the business to be split up and absorbed into government departments.
It’s understood that workers would be supported to find new jobs and that their skills would be needed in areas such as forest management and bushfire risk reduction.
The Victorian Labor Party are now working to select a new leader to govern – that decision will be made at a hastily convened caucus meeting tomorrow.
Premier Andrews is a member of the Socialist Left faction of the Victorian ALP, as is his current deputy and heir apparent, Jacinta Allen.
However, as revealed exclusively by the Australian Financial Review in May, the ALP-right-aligned Ben Carroll “has been canvassing support.”
Treasurer Tim Pallas – a member of the right – is expected to depart before the next election in 2026, opening the door for a wholesale shake-up ahead of the next election.
The right-wing of the party is known as Labor Unity and is tied to Deputy Federal Leader Richard Males and, according to anonymous sources, “will try and organise a challenge.”
The Herald Sun reported that Ms Allan was already chief of staff to replace long-time Andrew chief, Lisse Ratcliffe.