By Brittany Chain, Political Correspondent For Daily Mail Australia
Published: | Updated:
Welcome to the live blog following Victorian Premier Dan Andrews’ resignation.
Peta Credlin’s Daniel Andrews extraordinary ‘statue’ prophecy comes true
Sky News commentator Peta Credlin had predicted Mr Andrews would quit shortly after becoming eligible for a tribute statue in his honour.
Victorian premiers are entitled to be memorialised in bronze near Parliament House once they pass 3,000 days in office – a milestone Mr Andrews reached on February 20.
Effigies of four long-time Victorian leaders already stand outside Melbourne’s State Government Office, where Mr Andrews works and the Department of Premier and Cabinet is based.
Mr Andrews would join John Cain (1982-1990), Rupert Hamer (1972-1981), Henry Bolte (1955-1972) and Albert Dunstan (1935-1945) to have his likeness reproduced at 1 Treasury Place.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia at the time, Credlin tipped Mr Andrews would then soon hand power to his deputy, Jacinta Allan.
‘I don’t think he’s around a long time,’ she said. ‘I think he’ll want to make history.
‘Sometime early next year he ends up winning his little statue out the front of the Premier’s office and then he’ll p*** off and leave it to the woman, Jacinta Allan, which will enable them to effectively rebrand themselves.’
Victorians react to Andrews’ resignation
Victorians are divided over the news of the premier’s resignation.
While some have expressed joy at the announcement – spurred primarily by bitterness over his polarising decisions – others say it’s a terrible day for Australian politics.
What are the decisions Dan Andrews will be remembered for?
Daniel Andrews has no qualms acknowledging he has become a polarising political figure over the years.
He led his state through the longest lockdown in the world and faced intense backlash for his handling of the pandemic, but silenced those same critics in the 2022 state election when he romped to victory in what later become known as a ‘Danslide’.
Over his time in office, he’s been labelled a ‘master communicator’, and nailed the art of the press conference during the pandemic, when he would front up to media day in, day out (wearing his North Face jacket) to deliver the new updates on Covid.
That jacket became a symbol that all was as well as it could be in those pandemic days. The North Face logo often signalled that case numbers had steadied, while a formal suit was more often reserved for tougher news to swallow.
Even after the worst of the pandemic passed, Mr Andrews had adapted to the press conferences and kept them up regularly as a means of delivering news to Victorians.
It was this same format that he delivered the news that he’d cancelled the Commonwealth Games.
He said: ‘What’s become clear is the cost of hosting these games is not the $2.6billion which was allocated, it is at least $6billion or $7billion.’
‘I will not take money out of hospitals and schools in order to fund an event that is three times the cost as estimated and budgeted for last year.’
The news sparked uproar and confusion around the world, but Mr Andrews never once publicly wavered in the decision.
In spite of his often divisive decisions, Daniel Andrews undoubtedly had the mandate of the Victorian people.
He was re-elected for an historic third term just nine months ago with an easy majority.
Prime Minister responds to Andrews’ decision
Mr Albanese has admitted he ‘wasn’t particularly shocked’ by Mr Andrews’ decision to resign, after a long 25-year friendship.
He gave a moving speech paying tribute to his ‘old friend’; a ‘leader of such vision and ambition’.
The PM acknowledged Mr Andrews’ leadership was ‘tested by some of the toughest times’ during the pandemic, but credited him for ‘never shirking the hard decisions’ and doing everything in his power to keep Victorians safe.
In a cheeky reference back to this photo of he and Mr Andrews, Mr Albanese insisted ‘Daniel does cook a good steak’, and said they’d be having ‘one or two beers’ to celebrate his achievements in office.
At the time, there were theories floating around that the photo of the duo was photoshopped or fake.
Mr Albanese addressed the controversy on Tuesday, stating: ‘I can confirm he did cook that barbecue that day in his backyard… An example of the sort of crazy stuff that’s thrown at people in public life.
‘I know from time to time us gathering as friends has created a lot of controversy… I look forward to spending time with him and Cath in the future.’
Eddie Maguire reportedly let the cat out of the bag about Andrews’ decision
There are reports that Eddie Maguire let the cat out of the bag at a luncheon that Andrews intended to resign.
According to Sky News, Maguire told a packed lunch that Victoria would have a new premier by AFL Grand Final day, which is four days away.
Video of Dan Andrews puffing on a cigarette emerged just days ago
An uncharacteristic video of Daniel Andrews puffing on a cigarette days before he announced his resignation may have been the tell-tale sign the Premier had had enough.
The video provided a rare glimpse of Mr Andrews – whose public appearances are typically stage-managed – enjoying a candid moment.
Andrews confirms he gave Prime Minister Anthony Albanese a heads up about resignation
Mr Andrews spoke to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese before making his decision public.
He said: ‘He was a little shocked, he wished me well and I made a really important point, I thanked him for the fact that finally at last we have a prime minister who might be from Sydney but is not just for Sydney.
‘He knows where Victoria is, he knows how to get things done. He has been a dear friend of mine for nearly three decades, and I said to him, thank you, thank you for the partnership.’
Andrews said his decision is ‘fairly recent’, describes himself as ‘worse than a workaholic’
The Premier is looking forward to spending more time with his young family and to play golf, but he acknowledges it’s going to be a ‘fairly challenging adjustment’.
He said he’d made up his mind over the last couple of days and, when asked if anyone had tried to talk him out of it, said: ‘go when they’re asking you to stay’.
‘Ultimately once those thoughts of what it will be like after, what life would be like after this role start to creep in, you’ve got really important choice to make. You either [go] on and ultimately, I think, potentially resent the job and you never want to do that.
‘This is such a great honour and privilege … you never want to finish up in a situation where you are not enjoying the work, [or] are resentful of the fact that you are doing this and not doing something else.’
Mr Andrews led his state through the longest Covid lockdown in the world and is a polarising personality in Victoria.
But he says he has a ‘thick skin’ and has spent ‘every waking moment thinking about the challenges our state faces’.
‘I am worse than a workaholic.’
WATCH HERE: Daniel Andrews’ resignation
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews resigns
Daniel Andrews has announced his resignation as Victorian Premier in a shock announcement.
He has addressed the media after calling a snap press conference in Melbourne on Tuesday afternoon.
‘Today I will again visit Government House and resign as Premier and member for Mulgrave, effective 5pm tomorrow,’ Andrews told reporters.
‘When it’s time, it’s time.
‘It’s not an easy job as Premier of our state. It requires a 100% from you and your family. That of course is time limited and now is the time to step away.
‘The only way that I know how to do this job is to have it consume me. Every waking moment is about work and that takes a toll.’