MP ‘hon­oured’

Symes rapt to be a part of first 50-50 gen­der cab­i­net af­ter wait on re­sult

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Si­mon Rup­pert

With Ja­clyn Symes’ re­turn to the Vic­to­rian up­per house con­firmed, the La­bor govern­ment is now of­fi­cially the first in Vic­to­rian politics to have an equal male/fe­male cab­i­net.

Vic­to­rian Premier Dan An­drews an­nounced the new cab­i­net would of­fer a gen­der bal­ance in the days fol­low­ing La­bor’s land­slide vic­tory.

How­ever, for Ms Symes, be­ing named the new Agri­cul­ture, Re­gional Devel­op­ment and Re­sources Min­is­ter was de­pen­dant on her re­tain­ing her seat on the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil.

While the ma­jor­ity of the lower house rep­re­sen­ta­tives were con­firmed in the days fol­low­ing the elec­tion, the up­per house count­ing was only fi­nalised in De­cem­ber.

Ms Symes said af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the wait to be con­firmed four years ago she man­aged to avoid too many nerves while the votes were counted and con­firmed.

‘‘It feels great to re­gain the seat of North­ern Vic­to­ria,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘I’ve got one of the best jobs around, so to be able to con­tinue is amaz­ing and I’m hon­oured the peo­ple of Vic­to­ria have seen fit to give me an­other four years rep­re­sent­ing them.’’

Ms Symes said she was hon­oured to be part of the first 50-50 male/fe­male cab­i­net.

‘‘I had a good con­ver­sa­tion with my seven-yearold daugh­ter when she asked how many min­is­ters there are,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘I told her there were 22 and then she asked how many were boys and how many were girls.

‘‘When I said 11 each she said ‘so its equal?’ And it’s just re­ally nor­mal for her.

‘‘So I think in the fu­ture it won’t be amaz­ing and won­der­ful, it will just be nor­mal.

‘‘So to know that my daugh­ter is sat­is­fied, but not ex­cited by a 50-50 cab­i­net, that’s pretty cool.’’

Ms Symes is now part of a La­bor party with a huge ma­jor­ity in the Vic­to­rian Govern­ment, which should al­low them to en­act their vi­sion for the state.

‘‘It was such a pos­i­tive re­sult for la­bor, and it’s nice to have the op­por­tu­nity to be part of this govern­ment again,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘And the ad­van­tage of the port­fo­lios I’ve been given is that they en­able me to spend a lot of time in coun­try Vic­to­ria, which is great as it’s one of the parts of my job that I re­ally en­joy.’’

Right: State Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes with Vic­to­rian Premier Dan An­drews.

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