Politics

Vic opposition unveils new frontbench

Victorian Opposition leader Michael O’Brien has shaken up the Liberals’ shadow cabinet following a failed leadership challenge.

He’s appointed Brad Rowswell to energy, innovation, bay protection, and fishing portfolios, while Matt Bach will take on early childhood, child protection, and higher education.

Michael O’Brien managed to defeat the leadership challenge, launched by virtual unknown Brad Battin on Tuesday, by 22 votes to nine.

With Mr Battin stepping down from the shadow ministry, followed by Ryan Smith and Nick Wakeling, a reshuffle was not far away.

Also among the changes, veteran MP David Davis will take on planning and heritage, David Morris will take on local government and housing, while Tim Smith will take responsibility for emergency services, industry, roads, resources, industrial relations and workplace safety.

David Southwick will add youth justice and crime prevention to his public safety portfolio.

And Bridget Vallance will take on the equality portfolio, with James Newbury replacing her on the public accounts and estimates committee.

Bernie Finn will become the assistant shadow minister for police and community safety in place of his previous responsibility for small business.

There are reports of a push to dump the nine MPs who voted to bring on the spill last week.

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