Spill sees Staley shuffled sideways

September 18, 2021 BY

Member for Ripon Louise Staley. Photos: FILE

MEMBER for Ripon, Louise Staley, has lost her job as shadow treasurer.

The move came during a cabinet reshuffle on the weekend, set in motion by the return of Matthew Guy to the role of state Opposition Leader.

Ms Staley had been the shadow treasurer since the coalition’s 2018 electoral loss, which was led by Mr Guy.

She now takes on the shadow ministries of transport infrastructure, roads, and regional recovery, as well as the job of manager of opposition business in the lower house.

A statement released on Sunday shortly after the reshuffle sought to set the tone for Ms Staley’s new roles.

“Every day the city-centric Andrews Labor Government fails to let regional businesses open profitably is another day when a regional business goes to the wall,” she said.

“What regional Victoria needs is a plan for recovery, not a fake lifting of restrictions that stops too many businesses and workers from building a post-COVID future.”

Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan.

While Ms Staley was out of the third most important job in the parliamentary Liberal Party, Western Victoria gained an extra seat at the shadow cabinet table.

Member for Polwarth, Richard Riordan, has been elevated to the roles of shadow minister for local government and shadow minister for resources. Previously Mr Riordan had been an assistant shadow minister.

“As a representative of a large rural electorate these two portfolios are hugely important and will give me the opportunity to better represent the people of Polwarth and the state of Victoria,” he said.

While Mr Riordan was quiet publicly on the recent leadership challenge, he was previously vocal in calls to move away from past party head Michael O’Brien.

However, Mr Riordan’s political ally, Western Victoria upper house MP Bev McArthur was less subdued in her support for returned party head Matthew Guy following the spill.

“I supported Matthew’s return to the leadership and, like him, will work every day to remind Victorians of the need for a government that understands that freedom is one of the fundamental traits of a democratic nation,” she said in a statement following the change in leadership.

“Matthew’s leadership will remind Victorians that country Victoria matters.”

Ms McArthur was subsequently handed a role in the outer ministry as shadow assistant minister for scrutiny of government.

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