Neville announces resignation
BELLARINE MP Lisa Neville has ended speculation about her pending retirement, announcing today (Friday, June 24) she will not recontest her seat at November’s state election.
One of the Andrews Labor Government’s most senior members, the Minister for Police and Water is among four cabinet members who today announced their intentions to retire, including Deputy Premier James Merlino, Health Minister Martin Foley and Sports, Trade and Tourism Minister Martin Pakula.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne has already announced he will be retiring from politics at the next election.
First elected to Parliament in 2002, Ms Neville has served under three premiers – Steve Bracks, John Brumby and Dan Andrews – and has been in Cabinet since 2014.
Her 20-year career in the parliament includes serving as the first and longest serving female Police Minister, the first Minister for Mental Health, as well the Water and Emergency Services portfolios.
Reflecting on her eight years as Police and Water Minster, Ms Neville said her achievements included record numbers of officers in the force who are “better resourced and equipped than at any other time in their history”.
“We ask so much of Victoria Police. And they always deliver. To each member of Victoria Police, sworn and non-sworn, thank you so much for your work and service.”
“The water grid has been expanded, there is far greater water security for Melbourne, and we are well positioned for the challenges of the future. For the first time, Traditional Owners have had water returned to them, and we’ve met our Murray Darling Basin environmental obligations while at the same time locking in the future prosperity of northern Victorian irrigation communities.”
“In what is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, and only after consulting with doctors, family and my friends, I have decided to not recontest the seat of Bellarine in the 2022 state election.”
Elected to Parliament in the same year as Ms Neville, Mr Andrews described her as a dear friend, trusted colleague and respected by all.
“Lisa has been a tireless champion for every portfolio she’s held,” Mr Andrews said.
Ms Neville took a leave of absence from Parliament and her ministerial duties last year after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
“After a long and complicated battle with the disease, I was determined to return to work and the privilege of serving the Victorian community,” she said.
“My recovery in 2021 allowed me to resume work in late 2021, but I know I cannot give another four years. I wish it were otherwise, but I must be honest with myself, the wonderful people I work with and the Bellarine community.”
Ms Neville will remain the Member for Bellarine until the election and in her portfolios until the Premier announces a new Cabinet.