Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has resigned after almost a decade in the top job, leaving behind a legacy marred by high-profile controversies.
During his nine year tenure, Mr Andrews faced pushback on a number important policy measures, from the state’s response to the Covid pandemic to allegations of branch stacking.
More recently, Mr Andrews came under fire from state and federal leaders over the controversial decision to cancel the upcoming 2026 regional Commonwealth Games.
NCA NewsWire take a look at his most controversial moments.
Commonwealth Games controversy
The Victorian government announced in July that it would be cancelling the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, which were due to be held in regional Victoria.
The move sparked pushback from the state’s Liberal Party, as well as from the Federal Government and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who spoke out soon after.
The Prime Minister refuted claims by the state opposition leader Andrew John Pesutto that the federal government was aware of the move before the May budget.
“This was a decision by the Victorian government (…) the previous Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast was overwhelmingly funded by the Queensland government,” he said.
The federal budget did not include any funding for Victoria‘s Commonwealth Games preparations, which was due to be held in multiple regional areas, including Geelong.
Ultimately, it was cost blow-out that Mr Andrews cited as the main reason for the cancellation, with the move spurned by local, regional, and international sporting bodies.
The international body overseeing the games, Commonwealth Sport, said it was only given eight hours notice before cancellation of the competition was announced.
The Andrews government’s response to Covid pandemic faced widespread criticism for its harsh lockdown measures, despite helping to curb infection rates.
The Victorian government maintained one of the longest lockdowns in the country in response to the pandemic, earning Andrews the moniker from critics of “Dictator Dan”.
Mr Andrews faced pushback on a range of measures implemented during the crisis, including the decision early in the pandemic to lockdown a public housing tower.
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos resigned that year after Mr Andrews told a judicial inquiry her department was ultimately responsible for botched hotel quarantine.
Branch stacking allegations
The independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission last year found two former government ministers breached parliamentary codes of conduct.
The pair, who are not alleged to have committed any criminal conduct, misused public funds to fuel a vast branch-stacking operation, the IBAC found.
The corruption watchdog had investigated the awarding of a $1.2m contract to a Labor-affiliated union, but was later downplayed in the media by Andrews.
An April, Andrews told members of the press that the report was an “educational” one, and involved staff and members no longer part of the state government.
“It says, ‘OK, this is what happened some years ago – here’s a bunch of different things we can do, that the government should look to do,” he told the media.
The report recommended the government institute a range of reforms, including barring MPs from employing family members in their electorate offices.
Red Shirts Scandal
The Victorian Labor Party was found to have misused $388,000 in parliamentary allowances to pay political campaign staff during the 2014 election.
The Victorian Ombudsman found 21 past and present Labor MPs breached parliamentary guidelines when staff were diverted to help campaign for members.
The rort was subject to a police investigation spanning more than 12 months, but ultimately no criminal charges were laid. by Victoria Police.
In March 2021, Dan Andrews broke his back after falling on the wet stairs in Sorento, on the state’s Mornington Peninsula.
The Premier spent 111 days recovering from his injuries, which included broken ribs and spinal damage, but faced criticism upon his return.
The incident drew attention to allegations ab out the state of the Victorian health sector, as well flaming conspiracy theories about the incident.