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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 01 December 2018
2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 1 DECEMBER 2018 NEWS DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Newly re-elected Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, surrounded by the new members of his cabinet, Adem Somyurek, Melissa Horne, Gabrielle Williams and Jaclyn Symes. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/DAVID CROSLING Mikakos promoted to health minister in a 50 per cent female cabinet Despite a ‘promotion’ she remains the only Greek in the Andrews cabines, since Philip Dalidakis lost his portfolio, which goes bakc to Adem Somyurek A newly re-elected Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a cabinet which consists of an equal number of men and women. In a historic move, half of ministry positions are going to women with Victoria acquiring its second female attorney-general as Jill Hennessy is being named chief law officer, also the first woman to hold this position in a Victorian Labor government. In the new cabinet, Ms Hennessy's position as health minister is being assumed by former minister for families and children Jenny Mikakos, who will face the task to implement the Labor government's ambitious hospital building program. Minister Mikakos' elevation to cabinet marks the most significant and senior appointment of a member of parliament from the Greek community in Victorian history. The health portfolio is a multi-billion-dollar portfolio responsible for the operation and delivery of hospitals, health services and ambulances right around Victoria. It is also responsible for delivering major reforms such as vol- untary assisted dying. Minister Mikakos, a commercial and tax lawyer before entering politics, will also have to take on the ambulance services portfolio and oversee the roll-out of one of Labor's big election promises in the free school dental program. "It is an enormous honour to be installed as the Victorian Minister for Health. There's nothing more important than the good health of Victorian families, world-class hospitals that patients can count on and an ambulance service that ensures Victorians get the very best care when they need it the most," Minister Mikakos said. "I'll be wasting no time getting to work and giving our hard-working doctors, nurses and paramedics the support they need to make sure Victoria's health system remains one of the very best in the world." Aside from health, families and education, the new-look Cabinet is clearly focused on infrastructure delivery with Jacinta Allan the lead minister in an all-female transport team. The new additions to the An- drews Labor government include Northern Victorian MP Jaclyn Symes who has yet to be confirmed as winning the fifth spot in her Upper House region. She joins Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams and elected Williamstown MP Melissa Horne as female MPs joining Cabinet for the first time. Their presence raises the number of women in the cabinet to 11, that is equal to the male ministers. "Today my colleagues have delivered something that has never been achieved in the history of our state – 50 per cent of cabinet are women," the Premier said in his announcement. "There is an equality of gender in our state's most important decision-making body," he stressed. While several new faces are joining the ministry, another Greek MP, Philip Dalidakis, who had been serving as Minister for Trade and Investment, Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business, departs. The former Minister is expected to remain in Parliament as a Labor member for the southern metropolitan region and has been appointed chairman of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee. Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by Streamline Press Pty Ltd, 155 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065. NEOS KOSMOS Published since 1957 Contacts Reception Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com Web: www.neoskosmos.com Letters Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NEOS KOSMOS - English Publisher: Journalists: No. 6122 Address: Level 1, 169 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 Subscriptions Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Letters should not be more than 200 words and they must indicate your full name, address and a daytime telephone number for verification. By submitting your letter to us for publication you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons and may, after the publication in the paper, republish it on the internet or in other media. Christopher Gogos Editor-in-chief: Sotiris Hatzimanolis Acting editors: Nikos Fotakis, Anastasia Tsirtsakis Nelly Skoufatoglou, Eugenia Pavlopoulou, Zoe Thomaidou Contributors: Alexandros Anifantis, Alexander Billinis, Jim Claven, Mary Gleeko, Dean Kalimniou, George Kapnias, Theodora Maios, Lito Papanicolas, Geraint Rogers, Con Stamacostas, George Stogiannou Graphic design: Vangelis Karakasis, Anthony Rallis Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 "I am deeply grateful to Philip Dalidakis for the work he has done," the Premier said. "Philip has a very bright future and I think he will have opportunities to contribute in the future," he added. Dalidakis was appointed minister as a replacement for Adem Somyurek, a factional powerbroker who was booted from cabinet in 2015 due to bullying allegations by his then chief of staff, Dimity Paul. Mr Somyurek is now returning to the frontbench, although it is not clear in which ministry he will serve, as the government has delayed announcing ministers' portfolios until later in the week. became Scott Morrison’s worst nightmare How Julia Banks Nicknamed ‘Lady Vengeance’ by some of her colleagues, former Liberal MP Julia Banks had been sitting next to the former Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop, after the recent leadership spill. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/MICK TSIKAS The member for Chisholm will continue as a crossbencher for the remainder of her term in Parliament, effectively making the Coalition a minority government Still reeling from the devasting results of last week's Victorian election, the Liberal party suffered a second blow this week, this time by one of its own federal MPs, as Julia Banks, the federal Member for Chisholm announced her decision to quit the party and sit through the remainder of her parliamentary term as an independent, effective immediately. In a shock speech at midday on Tuesday, she told Parliament she had to leave the Liberals because of the "dark days" of the leadership spill in August and would decide her future in the new year. Asserting her position as a "centrist," the MP stresses in her announcement that it is the Liberal Party that has changed, adding her voice to the criticism addressed to the party as a whole, regarding its shift from the centre to the right. In her emotional speech the Chisholm MP expressed, once again, her frustration over the party's treatment of women and disunity over energy and climate change. "Equal representation of men and women in this Parliament is an urgent imperative which will create a culture change," she told the chamber. "Across both major parties, the level of regard and respect for women in politics is years behind the business world. "There is also a clear need for an independent and whistleblower system as found in many workplaces to enable reporting of misconduct of those in power without fear of reprisal or retribution." Ms Banks also particularly targeted the party's "reactionary right wing", which led the "brutal" coup against former PM Malcolm Turnbull; at the same time, she accuses other MPs for "trading their vote for a leadership change in exchange for their individual promotion, preselection endorsements or silence". Despite assuring the government that she will give confidence and supply, her decision to move to the crossbench will definitely pose a problem for Scott Morrison and the Coalition, which is now left with 74 out of 150 seats, confirming its status as a minority government and exposing it to embarrassing defeats on legislation. Evidence of the level of discomfort created to the Coalition by Julia Banks' defection to the crossbench came when Deputy Liberal leader and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg - the most senior Victorian in the Coalition - cancelled his planned trip to the G20 economic forum in Argentina this weekend amid the fallout from the Liberals' state election loss and Ms Banks' defection. It is understood that the next weeks will be crucial for the government's survival, given that it has lost guaranteed votes for things like suspending standing orders, referrals and legislation. It is likely that Julia Banks will now trade her support to the government with specific actions on issues and causes she supports, such as the removal of children from the Nauru detention camp, or the establishment of a national integrity commission. But the Labor might also count on her vote, particularly when it comes to Peter Dutton's referral to the high court, under section 44 of the constitution concerns, which is now seeming like a very likely scenario. It is unclear whether the Prime Minister was aware of this announcement, but it certainly cast a shadow over his surplus budget announcement. Scott Morrison told the parliament that he would deliver the federal budget on 2 April, which all but confirmed that the election will be held in May. As for whether Julia Banks will recontest her seat, she left it open saying that she will wait till the new year, before she makes a decision about her "future career path". Her former colleagues were speculating on Wednesday she could run as an independent in her seat of Chisholm, challenge Health Minister Greg Hunt in Flinders or backbencher Michael Sukkar in Deakin. In any case, should she run as an independent, she might pose a significant threat to the Liberal Party's ambitions, given that she managed to win the marginal seat of Chisholm from Labor in 2016, with minimal funding and little supporf from the Victorian Liberal Party, a source of tension in the past with state party president Michael Kroger, who is now under extreme pressure - along with state party director Nick Demiris - after last weeks' election.
24 November 2018
08 December 2018