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New Health Minister brings respect

New Health Minister brings respect

ANMF (Vic Branch) Assistant Secretary Paul Gilbert, Attorney-General and Workplace Safety Minister Jill Hennessy, Health and Ambulance Services Minister Jenny Mikakos and ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick.

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced his new cabinet which include some changes for the health and aged care portfolios.

Key points

Changes in the new Andrews Government cabinet are:

  • Former Health Minister Jill Hennessy has been appointed Attorney-General and Workplace Safety Minister.
  • Former Families and Children Minister Jenny Mikakos becomes Health and Ambulance Services Minister.
  • Former Roads Minister Luke Donnellan becomes the Minister for Child Protection, Disability, Ageing and Carers.
  • Martin Foley remains Mental Health Minister and retains equality and creative industries.
  • Lily D’Ambrosio keeps the energy, climate change and environment portfolios. She is now also Minister for Solar Homes.

ANMF has congratulated Jill Hennessy on her appointment as Attorney-General and thanked her for her genuine interest as the former Health Minister in listening to the voices of bedside nurses and midwives.

The union will continue to work with Ms Hennessy in her role as Workplace Safety Minister to end violence in our health services.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said ‘Ms Hennessy’s legacy of cementing nurse/midwife to patient ratios into law, with two rounds of ratio improvements to come in this next term means we don’t have to spend all of our time fighting for safe staffing levels for patients.

‘Her achievements such as voluntary assisted dying, safe zones and no jab no play legislation have changed Victoria for the better.’

Former Families and Children Minister Jenny Mikakos, who secured record funding for maternal and child health nursing services in the previous term, takes over as Health and Ambulance Services Minister. She retains early childhood health.

‘Ms Mikakos has been a champion of Victoria’s maternal and child health nurses and understands their important role in ending family violence and identifying and supporting vulnerable families,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.

‘We know she’ll bring this strong advocacy and respect for nurses and midwives into the health portfolio. We’ve seen her strong work ethic first hand and we know she’ll continue the Andrews Government’s reform agenda in health,’ she said.

ANMF and its members are looking forward to contributing to the Royal Commission into mental health. Commissioners and terms of reference are expected to be announced within the Andrews Government’s first 100 days.

‘Mental Health Minister Martin Foley has a historic task ahead of him with the Royal Commission into mental health and Victorians will continue to benefit from his extensive knowledge, passion and understanding of the sector.

‘Increasing the alcohol and other drugs services budget by nearly 60 per cent and shifting the approach to treat addiction as a health issue is changing and saving people’s lives.

ANMF is also looking forward to Mr Foley’s important review of how the state’s drugs and poisons laws are working.

The Andrews Government is leading the country with the construction and expansion of high care and mental health public aged care beds. New Ageing Minister Luke Donnellan will be overseeing the construction of new public aged care facilities in Victoria.

‘We welcome Mr Donellan to his new portfolios and we’re looking forward to working with him in the public aged care area as well as seeing the Victorian Government’s response to the Federal Government’s Royal Commission into aged care,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio will be able to build on her significant progress in reducing the energy and clinical waste in our public health services.

‘She has passion and a detailed understanding of the potential in this area to reduce health costs and improve environmental outcomes,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.

Industrial Officer Sonja Terpstra has been elected to the Victorian Legislative Council.

Industrial Officer Sonja Terpstra has been elected to the Victorian Legislative Council.

ANMF industrial officer elected to upper house

ANMF (Vic Branch) congratulates industrial officer Sonja Terpstra who leaves us on 21 December for her new role as a politician.

In the November state election Sonja campaigned as a Labor candidate for the Eastern Metro region in the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament.

Sonja leaves on a high note, having successfully represented ANMF members in a dispute with Western Health at the Fair Work Commission.

We wish her well in her new role as part of the Andrews Government.