Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is wasting no time pushing on with his second-term agenda after a resounding election victory.
He expects to have a refreshed front bench sworn in sometime this week and will recall parliament before Christmas so that the government can get off to a flying start in the new year, with legislation to increase nurse-to-patient ratios and 50 per cent renewable energy.
‘I am absolutely focused on the future with a resolve, a steely resolve, to deliver what we promised to get things done, to make this state stronger and fairer, and to deliver for all Victorians,’ Mr Andrews told reporters on Sunday, just hours after his landslide win.
His strengthened Labor team will be facing off a against a weaker Liberal party that imploded at the polls, with the future of leader Matthew Guy unclear.
Mr Guy, who did not make any public comment on Sunday, gave no indication of his plans as he conceded defeat on Saturday night.
The Liberals were rocked by a six per cent swing against them, which hit hard in their traditional heartland and could leave them with 22 seats in the 88-seat parliament, while coalition partners the Nationals appear to have won six, down from seven.
Infighting in the Liberals has already begun at the organisational level, with former premier Jeff Kennett demanding Victorian president Michael Kroger resign.
‘I hope that he’s the Liberal Party president for life,’ Mr Andrews quipped on ABC.
Senior federal Victorian Liberal MPs tried to deflect blame from the turmoil in the Morrison government, insisting it was about state issues.
Worries about what the result would mean for the federal election due by May next year was evident. The Liberals hold 13 federal seats in Victoria, with many overlapping with seats that were belted on Saturday.
But Mr Andrews has put the Labor victory down to a progressive and positive agenda and a bold infrastructure plan that delivers for future generations.
He’s promised to deliver more roads and rail, and plans to borrow $25 billion for it, doubling net debt to 12 per cent of gross state product.
‘Let’s be very clear: Victorians have demonstrated that not only are they generous of spirit, but they’re smart, too, and they can pick it when people don’t have a plan for the future,’ he said.
‘That level of sophistication also means they can tell the difference between a state election and a federal election.’
He expects voters will see the same thing in federal Labor leader Bill Shorten when he fights Prime Minister Scott Morrison at next year’s general election.
‘(Federal Labor will) campaign hard right across the country to get that precious gift, the opportunity not just to defeat our opponent, but to have the responsibility and the opportunity to make our nation better,’ he told ABC TV.
The Greens, who fancied a balance of power role, also failed to win more seats, and lost Northcote after less than a term, leaving it with just two wins at the close of counting on Saturday.
While the conservatives are left to consider the future, Mr Andrews was quick to get back to work.
He confirmed his first order of business will be to send tender documents to market on Monday for the Melbourne’s $15.8 billion North East Link toll road.
The Victorian Electoral Commission says four lower house seats are still in doubt – Ripon, Brunswick, Bayswater and Hawthorn, which is held by Liberal leadership possibility John Pesutto.