Statement from Daniel Andrews MP:

Our great Labor family is still mourning the loss of Fiona Richardson, Australia’s first Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence.

Fiona leaves big shoes to fill (despite her tendency to speak in parliament without wearing them).

Today, I decided who could best take on Fiona’s important responsibilities in Cabinet and carry on her great legacy.

That person is Natalie Hutchins.

Nat has devoted her life to improving the conditions of working men and women, and she’s as tough as they come.

In less than three years as a Minister, she’s led the fight for equal pay for women, delivered family violence leave for the Victorian Public Service and overseen the highest number of female councillors in local government ever.

She has always been a voice of clarity and compassion in the Cabinet.

Now she will become our state’s second Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, and our Minister for Women.

Nat will retain her responsibilities in Aboriginal Affairs and Industrial Relations, and Marlene Kairouz will take on the portfolio of Local Government, holding local councils to account and ensuring ratepayers get a fair go.

Marlene will continue her work making housing fairer for renters and first home buyers, and she will bring this passion to her new portfolio.

I’m proud there is such a huge cohort of women inside our movement and our Government in senior leadership roles.

We have people like Fiona to thank for that.