Dan Andrews in shock resignation soon after delivering housing policy
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has resigned just a week after delivering arguably the biggest suite of reforms to the housing and property development sectors in the state's history.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has resigned, with his recently announced housing reforms his final major legacy in what was the longest Labor state government premiership in history.
Mr Andrews announced resignation in an abrupt Tuesday (26 September) press conference, saying he was stepping aside from politics to read, play golf and spend time with his family.
The Victorian Premier presided over a period of massive infrastructure development in the state and, in his final major policy announcement, last week unveiled a housing policy aimed at addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing in Melbourne and the state.
“I knew, as we got to the final stages of that [the housing reform], that it would perhaps be the last big reform that I did,” Mr Andrews said at the resignation press conference.
“I leave knowing that the housing statement, one of the most profound shakeups in one of the most important policy areas, will guarantee that Victorians across the state have somewhere to call home,” Andrews said.
Former Victorian Labor premier John Brumby, in throwing his support behind Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan as Victoria's next premier, said Mr Andrews’ housing statement was one successful example of his legacy being built around consensus.
“Daniel was very good at building consensus and support in the community,” Mr Brumby said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Mr Andrews as a “man of great conviction, enormous compassion and a fierce determination to make a difference” and singled out his housing policies as a major focus of his tenure.
“You can measure his contribution through nine years, three election victories — the last one with an increased majority, but what you can measure it on is the fact that he is a builder.
“He has built enormous infrastructure benefits for Victoria, he’s rebuilt a health system — a passion of his from his time as health minister, and indeed, during the pandemic as well.
“He’s rebuilt schools and in the announcement that he’s made, as well, last week, he’s determined to deal with the challenges of housing.”
As might be expected, Victoria’s Leader of the Opposition, John Pesutto, was less flattering of the Andrews government’s housing policies.
“The so-called accelerator project will be conducted at a snail’s pace and do little to tackle Victoria’s growing waiting list for social housing.
“The Andrews Government has had nearly nine years to address the social housing crisis but still hasn’t come up with a plan to deliver the supply needed for the 68,000 Victorians on the waiting list.
“Labor says its cares about vulnerable Victorians but they are being punished for the incompetence of the Andrews Government.”
Housing policy faces chellenges
The Government’s push to build 800,000 homes over the next decade is part of a bigger goal outlined by Mr Andrews last week to build an additional 2.24 million homes by 2051.
But the plan came under immediate scrutiny given its need for an extra 50,000 workers at a time when other states are facing similar labour shortages.
Victoria has averaged 60,000 completed dwellings per annum over the past decade.
The social housing and infrastructure projects have also had to contend with delays and cost blowouts in the wake of the pandemic and due to the construction crisis of supply chain issues and increased labour and material costs.
Mr Andrews has spent more than two decades in politics with 13 of those years as leader of the state’s Labor Party. He became Labor’s longest-serving premier of Victoria this year.
Deputy Premier Jacinta Allen, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, is widely tipped as his successor.