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