Daniel Andrews has announced his resignation as the Victorian premier, after nearly nine years in office.
The announcement was made at a snap press conference outside parliament on Tuesday and comes after prolonged media speculation about his future. Andrews’ deputy, Jacinta Allan, later confirmed she would run for leadership of the Victorian Labor party.
Andrews was joined by his wife, Catherine, and their sons, Noah and Joseph, as he said he would resign as both premier and the member for Mulgrave, effective 5pm Wednesday.
“When it is time, it is time,” he said.
“Recently, in talking to my kids and Cath, thoughts of what life will be like after this job has started to creep in.
“I have always known that the moment that happens it is time to go and to give this privilege, this amazing responsibility to someone else.”
He said it was “an honour” to have served as premier.
“The very best part of this job is meeting and listening to thousands and thousands of people from every walk of life, from every part of our state, from every background on every point of view,” Andrews said.
“I will be forever grateful for the honour of leading this very special place.”
Anthony Albanese praised Andrews on Tuesday afternoon and said he “is a person of deep conviction, great compassion and fierce determination”.
“He brought all those qualities to his time as premier of Victoria,” the prime minister said.
“Dan has always been a builder and in education, health, infrastructure and housing he has built an extraordinary legacy that will endure for generations.”
He made particular reference to the Victorian government’s Covid response.
“Dan’s leadership was tested by some of the toughest times,” Albanese said. “In the relentless pressure of a once-in-a-generation pandemic, Dan never shirked the hard decisions.”
Andrews said Labor MPs would meet at midday on Wednesday to decide who would succeed him as the party’s leader and premier.
Allan, the deputy premier, is widely tipped to take on the role, although Andrews said the decision would be determined by the caucus.
“I am not here to speculate on who that might be and to give you my form guide or any of that – that will be determined by the colleagues,” Andrews said.
Allan confirmed she would nominate to lead the Victorian Labor party but said she would not make further comments until the party’s caucus met to vote on Wednesday afternoon.
Andrews said he realised it was time to leave politics after releasing the government’s landmark housing statement last week.
“I knew, as we got to the final stages of that, that it would perhaps be the last big reform that I did,” he said.
“Ultimately once those thoughts of what … life would be like after this role start to creep in, you have got a really important choice to make.”
Andrews said he didn’t want to potentially start resenting the job because “this is such a great honour and privilege”. “It is such a profound thing, you never want to finish up in a situation where you are not enjoying the work,” he said.
The outgoing premier thanked his wife and said he was keen to spend more time with her and his children, play golf and read a “pile” of unread books.
The Andrews Labor government was elected in 2014 with the premier leading his party to a third term in November 2022.
Earlier this year, he became Labor’s longest-serving premier in the state.
Andrews was first elected to parliament in 2002, representing the seat of Mulgrave. He served as minister for consumer affairs and gaming in the Bracks government, and as health minister under John Brumby.
He became the state’s Labor leader in 2010, before becoming premier four years later.