Lisa Neville returns to work
BELLARINE MP Lisa Neville has returned to her parliamentary and ministerial duties after an absence of six months while she recovered from surgery and treatment for Crohn’s disease.
As of Monday this week, Ms Neville is continuing in her roles as the Minister for Water, Police Minister and Co-ordinating Minister of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
She also retains responsibility for COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria, which will run the quarantine facility now being built at Mickleham.
“It’s been a tough time, but I’m ready to get back into it,” she said on Monday.
“I probably had two months where I thought I wasn’t going to improve, and when I put out my last statement at the end of June, I then thought that there is light at the end of this, a way of coming back – I just wasn’t quite there at that point.
“I’ll still have medical interventions along the way, to keep me well and able to do the job.”
She said that after considering advice from her doctors, some of the requirements of the Emergency Services portfolio – including regular travel around to remote parts of the state at short notice – were not compatible with managing her condition and recovery.
“I just practically could not, even with medication, be predictable enough to support communities who need that support often in the worst time of their lives, and I felt it was the right thing to do to let that go.”
As a result, Jaclyn Symes has taken over as Minister for Emergency Services, working with Emergency Management Victoria and emergency services organisations to continue preparations for Victoria’s next fire season.
Jaala Pulford has added Resources to her existing economic portfolio responsibilities.
Ms Neville said she planned to get out and about in her electorate as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allowed.
“Of course, the most important thing right now is containing the coronavirus, and I don’t want to play any role in risking any spread down the Bellarine, but as soon as I can, definitely – there’s a couple of things that I’ve had in my diary that just might be pushed a little bit further out.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Ms Neville had “shown enormous strength and resilience” through her recovery, “and I know how determined she has been to return to work”.