Was video of Daniel Andrews smoking the first sign Victorian Premier was about to resign?
An uncharacteristic video of Daniel Andrews puffing on a cigarette days before he announced his resignation may have been a sign the Premier had had enough.
Mr Andrews announced his shock resignation from Victoria’s top job in a snap press conference on Tuesday.
His nine-year tenure in the role will end at 5pm on Wednesday with the premier saying he made the decision following recent talks with his wife Catherine and their three children.
The announcement comes after a video emerged over the weekend with footage showing Mr Andrews smoking with another man outside a function in Victoria.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was seen smoking (above) outside an event last week
The video provided a rare glimpse of Mr Andrews – whose public appearances are typically stage-managed – enjoying a candid moment.
The footage followed a long week for Mr Andrews after he introduced – and vigorously defended – his new ‘short stay tax’, which is set to begin in 2025.
He announced on Wednesday his government was introducing a 7.5 per cent consumer tax on all short term accommodation bookings with platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz.
On Thursday the premier blew up at a reporter who argued the tax was far from the ‘modest’ fee Mr Andrews claimed.
‘It’s a modest charge – I’ll say it 100 times if you want, and we’ll disagree on that, but it’s a modest charge,’ Mr Andrews said.
The fiery debate continued with the reporter describing the fee as potentially the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ for homeowners.
‘I’ll leave the camels to you because there’s a few lumps in your argument mate,’ Mr Andrews responded.
‘Like seriously, if you want to put it to me that $7.50 per hundred dollars – and because it’s higher than what happens in Florence, or New York or Auckland – mum and dads are worse off, that’s not right.
‘People need somewhere to live. Everyone needs somewhere to live.’
Upon announcing his resignation on Tuesday, Mr Andrews said: ‘When it’s time, it’s time.’
‘I have always known that the moment that happens, it is time to go and to give this privilege, this amazing responsibility to someone else,’ he said.
Mr Andrews announced his resignation from Victoria’s top job in a snap press conference on Tuesday
‘It’s not an easy job as Premier of our state. It requires 100 per cent 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.’
Mr Andrews’ resignation came as a shock to his Labor caucus colleagues – some openly telling reporters they had no idea the political earthquake was coming.
The new Premier will be elected at a caucus meeting on Wednesday.
The frontrunners are expected to include deputy premier Jacinta Allan and MP Ben Carroll.
Mr Andrews became premier in November 2014, booting out a first-term Liberal government, and led Labor to two more victories in 2018 and 2022.
He became one of Australia’s most divisive leaders during the Covid pandemic when he shut down Melbourne for the world’s longest lockdown.