Labor’s Melissa Horne has headed straight into cabinet after being elected to the seat of Williamstown, following Saturday’s state election.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday announced his new ministry, made up of 50 per cent women.
Ms Horne is the new Minister for Public Transport and Ports and Freight.
With 64 per cent of votes counted, the two-party preferred result had Ms Horne on 71.45 per cent (22,229) and Liberal Pallavee Joshi on 28.5 per cent (8882).
Ms Horne replaces Wade Noonan, who retired from politics after 11 years.
The only other woman to have represented Williamstown was Victoria’s first female premier, Joan Kirner, who held the seat from 1988-94.
Ms Horne’s career has taken her from the ALP’s national office to, most recently, stakeholder relations director with the Level Crossing Removal Authority.
She and partner Alex Lovelock moved from Canberra to Yarraville in 2002, before buying in Seddon 15 years ago. They have two boys, Sacha, 10, and Phoenix, 13.
“This was a campaign that Labor ran on a number of different issues – some of it was absolutely about infrastructure, which included things like the removal of the level crossing, improved transport, better connections, new trains that are being built, new train services,” Ms Horne said.
“There was an endorsement, which was reflected in the vote, of all those different infrastructure policies. But also, too, things like building the new Footscray Hospital, upgrading our schools, all those issues I think that really resonated with the voters.
“I can only really say thanks to the voters for endorsing what they saw as a really positive, progressive agenda that the Labor party has, not just for Williamstown but for the state.
“It will give me an enormous sense of pride to see the Footscray Learning Precinct completed and I really want to be able to help Wade and build on his legacy.”
The primary vote with 64 per cent counted had Ms Horne on 15,878 (51.02 per cent), followed by Mr Joshi on 5518 (17.73 per cent), the Greens’ Sam Long on 4644 (14.92 per cent), Independent Peter Hemphill on 3406 (10.94 per cent), Animal Justice Party’s Virginia Saint-James on 828 (2.68 per cent) and Independent Lisa Bentley on 846 (2.72 per cent).