3 Victorian Labor MPs Announce Decision to Step Down at Next Election

By Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
November 24, 2021 Updated: November 24, 2021

Three state Labor MPs have announced on the same day that they will not be contesting the next Victorian election in late 2022.

Jill Hennessy, former state attorney-general and member for Altona, Danielle Green, the member for Yan Yean, and Dustin Halse, the member for Ringwood, all issued statements on Facebook on Nov. 24.

“No matter how precious your family is, politics can blind you to their needs if you’re not careful. And life is short,” Hennessy wrote on Facebook.

“After some reflection, I came to the view that making the commitment to serve another four-year term was incompatible with the other important priorities in my life, especially if I wanted to give them all the best of me,” she added, praising Premier Dan Andrews’ leadership since winning election in 2014 and his work pushing infrastructure and social justice programs.

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(L-R) Victorian MPs Gavin Jennings, Jill Hennessy, and Premier Daniel Andrews speak to the media in Melbourne, Australia, on Nov. 22, 2017. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Green, who has served for 20 years under three different premiers, announced her retirement from politics over concerns around her work-life balance.

“It has been an honour and privilege to represent the people of Yan Yean and to have served in the Parliament of Victoria since 2002,” she wrote on Facebook.

“During the seven years of the Andrew’s Labor government, the Premier, Treasurer and ministers have listened to my advocacy on jobs, schools, TAFE, health, roads, public transport, community safety, creative industries, sport and much more,” she said.

“Elected to Parliament almost two decades ago, with my youngest son still at primary school, it was my family and loyal network of friends who kept the home fires burning. It is now my turn to support them.”

Halse revealed he had informed Premier Andrews and the state secretary of the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) of his decision to stand down at the next election.

“I would like to thank the Labor Party for encouraging me to stand again in November 2022—it’s deeply humbling. A big thanks also to Daniel Andrews and my parliamentary colleagues for their encouragement, support and trust,” he wrote on Facebook.

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (right) speaks during question time in the Legislative Assembly at the Parliament of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, on Sept. 7, 2021. (AAP Image/James Ross)

“Being a candidate for the Victorian Legislative Assembly requires a wholehearted four-year commitment. Our community deserves no less than a representative who is certain to be in it for the long haul. And, at this time, I cannot offer that absolute certainty,” he said.

Victoria’s next election is due on Nov. 26, 2022

While the Labor government does hold 55 of the 88-seat Legislative Assembly, Premier Dan Andrews has had to weather several disruptions to his Cabinet over the past year.

In September 2020, Jenny Mikakos resigned as health minister and from Parliament immediately after the premier made comments contradicting her views on the handling of the state’s hotel quarantine system.

Meanwhile, ongoing investigations into “branch-stacking” in the Victorian ALP have seen several MPs resign from Cabinet while still remaining in Parliament, including Adem Somyurek, Marlene Kairouz, Robin Scott, and more recently, Luke Donnellan.