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Opposition Leader Matthew Guy labels government minister exodus a ‘revolt’

Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has taken aim at the resignation of four government ministers, calling their departures a “revolt”.

Deputy Premier James Merlino, Health Minister Martin Foley, Police Minister Lisa Neville and Sport and Tourism Minister Martin Pakula revealed their plans on Friday morning.

Each have stepped down from the ministry and will not contest their seats at the November election.

Mr Guy said he believed the resignations were a sign of divisions within the government.

“This is more a revolt than a renewal. The only true renewal we’ll see is at the November election when Daniel Andrews is defeated,” he told Sky News.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy labels government minister exodus a ‘revolt’
Camera IconVictorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy addressed four ministers’ resignations. NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia

“That’s what renewal will look like in Victoria.

“Renewal is not ministers jumping ship just before an election, renewal is a change of government and a new premier.”

Mr Guy also noted Mr Andrews had lost more than half his cabinet to resignation or scandal since the last election in 2018.

“If he can’t even keep his own team together, why should the rest of the state have faith that the team he’s putting in place will be there longer as well?’’ he said.

“Again the only real renewal is going to be a change of government at the state election and I think Victorians are now aching for that. We’re seeing the same old lines, the same old spin, the same old excuses. I think we’re just tired of this premier and his government.”

Mr Guy’s comments come after Mr Merlino, who also serves as Education Minister and Mental Health Minister, paid tribute to the Premier in his announcement.

VIC PARLIAMENT and PRESSER
Camera IconVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews paid tribute to retiring Deputy James Merlino. NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia

“Dan is a leader characterised by courage and determination, intellect and kindness,” he added.

“A premier who not only has the biggest and boldest ideas to improve the lives of Victorians but the energy, capacity and grit to actually get it done. A rare combination.”

Mr Merlino said a string of fresh faces was what the government needed to clinch power at the next state election.

“Renewal is critical for any government – fresh ideas and new energy,” Mr Merlino said.

“As hard as this is, I believe in my heart that renewal, new cabinet ministers around the table, is the best thing for the government and our state.”.

The next Victorian state election is to be held on November 26.

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