Dan Andrews’ Labor government has been plunged into chaos after a seventh MP announced she was quitting the Victorian parliament at the next election.
Jane Garret, member for Eastern Victoria, has joined the exodus out of Spring Street in the wake of the furious backlash against the premier’s handling of the pandemic.
On Friday, she confirmed her coming exit and said it was a ‘sign of strength’ within the Labor Party that so many were leaving at the same time.
Her announcement follows Victorian MP Mark Gepp revealing on Thursday that would be the sixth Labor MP in just a matter of days to confirm they are quitting.
Mr Gepp joined Lara MP John Eren, Richmond MP Richard Wynne, Altona MP Jill Hennessy, Ringwood MP Dustin Halse and Yan Yean MP Danielle Green who all announced last week that they would not be seeking re-election in 2022.
On Thursday, the Victorian premier had to rely on the support of crossbenchers to get his controversial pandemic bill through parliament after a 21-hour debate.
The bill sparked riotous protests across Melbourne but will now take effect on December 16 after it passed the upper house by a thin margin of 20 votes to 18.
On Friday though, Ms Garret insisted: ‘It’s a sign of just how strong the Labor Party is when so many people make the call to step aside and give our huge range of talented young people the opportunity to become the next generation of MPs.
‘Today it’s my time to help that shift to renewal. It’s been such a privilege to represent the people of Victoria in both the District of Brunswick and the Region of Eastern Victoria.
‘I’ve been welcomed into people’s homes, their businesses, schools and community groups and I thank each and everyone I’ve met and worked with on the way.
‘Fighting for jobs, equality, social justice and a first class education for all has been the mantra of every Andrews Labor Government MP and it’s been a loud and proud one.’