Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has resigned as state premier telling voters that “when it’s time, it’s time.”
The 48th premier of Victoria announced his decision at a snap press conference today describing the job as the “honour and privilege of my life.”
“Nine years ago, I visited Government House to be sworn in as the 48th Premier of Victoria,’’ he said. “But when it’s time, it’s time.
“It’s time to go and to give this privilege, this amazing responsibility to someone else.”
Mr Andrews, 51, appeared emotional as he revealed the decision to quit came after realising the job had started to “consume” him.
“In talking to my kids and Cath, talks of what life will be like after this job have started to creep in,” he said.
“I have always known, the moment that happens, it is time to give this privilege, this amazing responsibility, to someone else.
“It is not an easy job being premier of our state… That is just a fact.
“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, to have it define me.
“To a certain extent, every waking moment is about the work and that takes a toll.”
Andrews admits backflipping on promise
He conceded that he had previously pledged to serve out a full term.
“Yeah, it was true then and I’ve changed my mind,” he said.
“This is my decision but it’s not about me, it’s about making sure that we have someone to work hard every single day to deal with the challenges that we face.”
Mr Andrews has served as Premier for more than 3000 days, one of only five out of 48 premiers to do so.
Sir Henry Bolte was premier for 6288 days, Albert Dunstan served for 3834 days and Labor’s John Cain jnr served for 3044 days.
Another premier, James McCulloch, served for 3000 days, but it took him four separate stints between 1863 and 1877.
The Victorian Premier, who came under sustained criticism during the pandemic over a reduction in civil liberties but also attracted fierce support from Labor voters, said his legacy was for others to judge.
“As you will know, public life is about subjecting yourself to the judgement of us, and it will be for others to judge my time in Parliament and my years of leadership,’’ Mr Andrews said.
‘I’ve never been about being 100 per cent popular’
Mr Andrews said he had no regrets about his time in office.
“I am not a regretful person and I do not look back, I have always been focused on the future,” he said.
“This is a democracy, I’ve never been about being 100 per cent popular, if you chase that, if you try and be 100 per cent popular, you are essentially scared of doing anything that might upset anybody, you get precisely nothing done.
“Then you finish up deeply unpopular. I worked that one out a while ago. It is for others to judge what I have done and not done and you don’t get a do over, sadly.”
‘What could be more important than that?’
Mr Andrews said he was proud to have been involved in building a better housing statement for the state.
“I leave knowing that the housing statement, one of the most profound shake-up in one of the most important policy areas will guarantee that Victorians across the state have somewhere to call home,” he said. “After all what could be more important than that?”
Mr Andrews thanked his wife Cath and his two sons for their support over the years.
“To my family, to my mother and father, to my sister, I couldn’t ask for more,” he said.
“Cath, she is my best friend and none of this was remotely possible without her support, her guidance and her love. Noah, Grace and Joseph, they know only politics that has done this.
“For all the matters meant, thank you. You are everything to me.”