John Pesutto team - Faces from Shadow cabinet

Victoria’s diverse and growing multicultural communities will be put front and centre by the Victorian Liberals and Nationals according to the new shadow ministry unveiled by the new Liberal leader John Pesutto.

At the November election, the Liberals saw swings away from Labor in swelling population areas with large multicultural communities.

Mr Pesutto has said his party would put Victoria’s multicultural population “front and centre” as he spruiked his own migrant background.

“The Liberal Party proudly put forward many candidates from multicultural backgrounds at the recent election, and are deeply pleased to have elected Trung Luu, the first ever Vietnamese-Australian Liberal Member of Parliament,” he said.

“Multicultural communities have and continue to contribute enormously to what makes Victoria great.

“The Liberals and Nationals understand that by encouraging and supporting multicultural communities, these Victorians can better contribute to a richer and more tolerant society.”

The shadow cabinet represents a mix of both – pragmatism and compulsion. Demoting some faces for apparent reasons (mental bloc or slips during election campaign) and promoting some new faces to shadow minister roles are the two hallmarks of the team chosen.

That is for now.

Empiricism in politics is no less important and the Liberals should know it by now.

The team has kept two familiar faces in their old roles – Georgie Crozier as shadow health and Michael O’Brien as shadow attorney general.

The two major absentees are Matthew Guy and David Davis. Again, that is for now. For the party to win in 2030, (to me 2026 looks mathematically beyond practical particularly if Daniel Andrews stays and IBAC findings are benign or near benign to him), Matthew Guy and David Davis, should they hang in, will have to be given (or persuaded to take on) some position – not only to certify ‘unity’ in the party image, but also to utilize their connect in the community.

Victoria is the centre of multiculturalism within Australia – with Victorians from more than 200 countries, who speak 260 languages and follow 135 different faiths, calling our state home today.

Also read: Renee Heath increased Liberal vote by 10,000 plus in Eastern Victoria

John Pesutto’s parents, like many others, came to Australia from southern Italy in the 1960s. He knows pretty well how the migrant communities have to work hard ( as he along with his parents would have) to build their lives in Australia. and taught me the important values and principles that guide me today.

“To reflect the importance of these communities to the Liberals and Nationals team I lead, today I proudly announce my role as Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs within the Shadow Cabinet team. Trung Luu will be Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs”, John Pesutto said.

The Liberals and Nationals says a stamen by them, understand that by encouraging and supporting multicultural communities, these Victorians can better contribute to a richer and more tolerant society.

It seems the Labor party has managed to engage better with multicultural communities. While both Matthew Guy and Daniel Andrews look comfortable interacting with ethnic Victorians, Daniel Andrews team led the way by miles when it came to their engagement with the Victorian Indian community.

“A state reception for Diwali, Premier Andrews taking his shoes off, to perform Goddess Lakshami puja on stage, serving vegetarian dinner and generally observing the way such functions should take place – all this does not happen by accident or ad hoc; it requires a certain amount of planning and commitment, which in my view worked well for the Labor party to arrest heavy swings away from the party”, says my editor Dinesh Malhotra who personally attend some of the events leading up to the polls.

It seems, John Pesutto has his job cut out for him.

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