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‘Honour and privilege’: Jacinta Allan will become Victoria’s next premier

Jacinta Allan is set to become Victoria’s next premier after a messy morning of party-room negotiations finally resulted in a deal that will install Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll as deputy.

After a bruising 24 hours, a deal was struck between Labor caucus members on Wednesday afternoon that will ensure no other candidate challenges Allan for the leadership.

Jacinta Allan, outgoing premier Daniel Andrews’ deputy, will become Victoria’s next leader.

Jacinta Allan, outgoing premier Daniel Andrews’ deputy, will become Victoria’s next leader.Credit: Joe Armao

In return, Labor’s Right faction secured Carroll as its candidate for deputy premier despite a push from Allan’s Socialist Left faction to control both roles.

The move has prevented an all-out war within Victorian Labor that would have resulted in party members being asked to vote on who should be the next leader.

“As a much younger woman from regional Victoria I never expected to have this length of service,” Allan, who was first elected to parliament in 1999, said after the caucus meeting.


“I’ve had the honour and privilege of serving the Victorian community in various ministerial roles under premiers. Strong, decisive premiers [like] Steve Bracks, John Brumby and, more recently, Daniel Andrews.

“And then, in turn, to have the support – unanimous support – today from my parliamentary colleagues, is indeed also a deep privilege, and one that I pledge to continue to work incredibly hard as I have done each and every day.”

Allan got emotional as she talked about becoming just the second woman to lead the state, after former premier Joan Kirner.

“I also hope it says to young women, older women, women from across different backgrounds ... that leadership takes on different shapes and sizes,” she said.

“Women have a role, have a place [as] leaders in our community. Whether it’s in politics, running local community groups, being a small business person, running big corporations, running a farm, women have a place to be recognised as leaders in all of these roles across our community.”

Carroll nominated as leader earlier on Wednesday after the Left tried to push its candidates and leave the Right without the senior role. The deal was struck after nearly three hours of negotiations.

“Jacinta has always lived and breathed regional Victoria and has done so much for the level-crossing removal program right across our state and rebuilding the transport infrastructure,” Carroll said.

“I can’t wait to roll up the sleeves and get on and support this new leadership team.”

Allan promised to announce a new look cabinet within coming days, but she said wanted Treasurer Tim Pallas to stay on in his role. The long-serving treasurer had nominated to be her deputy before the peace deal was reached with the factions.

Opposition Leader John Pesutto said the new premier had avoided talking about the big issue facing her government and Victorians.

“The new premier and her new deputy studiously avoided the biggest issue facing our state: debt, which is an enormous burden,” he told reporters.

“Not one word about how our new premier will address mounting debt, taxes that are making Victoria the least attractive place to invest, rising interest costs on our debt. If the premier wants to be really different in terms of the budget, she could open up the books so we can see the true state of our finances.”