Daniel Andrews has revealed he will step down as Victoria’s premier and the country’s highest-paid head of state, after having a serious discussion with his family.
Mr Andrews called an early press conference in Melbourne on Tuesday afternoon to announce the end of his nine-year career as state leader, effective Wednesday at 5pm.
The father-of-three was supported by his wife Catherine and sons Noah, 21, and Joseph, 15, as he suggested the role of prime minister had cost him valuable time with his family.
“It requires 100 percent from you and your family, it is of course time-limited and now is the time to step down,” he said.
Mr Andrews has given no indication of what his future career might look like, but it is unlikely he will need to find a new job anytime soon.
Dan Andrews leaves his final press conference as Prime Minister, supported by his wife Catherine
Daniel Andrews has been married to Catherine for 25 years. They have three children, Noah, Joseph and Grace – who is overseas enjoying her gap year.
In his final months in office, Mr Andrews managed to secure a 3.5 per cent pay rise, which brought his annual salary to $481,190, an increase of more than $16,000 from to 2022.
He will also benefit from a historic pension scheme for MPs elected before 2004, which could see him receive millions upon retirement.
Mr Andrews owns a million-dollar property in his electorate of Mulgrave, on the Mornington Peninsula – where he slipped on a step and broke part of his spine during a weekend away of his functions in 2021.
He then used his 111 days of Covid lockdown between March and June of that year, which his government imposed, to refinance his mortgage for the third time in two years.
The first was to finance an expansion in 2018, when interest rates were at a record low of 1.5 percent. By the time he refinanced again, rates had fallen to just 0.1 percent.
The couple reportedly purchased the property for $251,000 in 2002.
Catherine, who was the director of The Torch – an organization which supports Aboriginal Australians – previously told the Herald Sun that people would be surprised at how “normal” her family is.
“Our children go to local schools. We go to local stores; there is nothing special about us. Daniel happens to be prime minister – that’s his job,” she said.
“I still have to pay the bills, wash the uniforms, make sure everything is ready for soccer on Saturday or ballet Monday and Wednesday and I still have to make sure there is enough food in the fridge.”
She said the couple often had a glass of wine on Saturday evenings and said “time flew by” when he was at home.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by his wife and two sons, Joseph and Noah, at the press conference.
Mr Andrews’ resignation came as a surprise as it was only last year that he was re-elected until 2026.
In November, he shared a photo of his wife on Twitter while campaigning for a third term. He captioned the post: “First day of campaigning – with my number one.”
In the photo, Catherine could be seen gazing adoringly at her husband of 25 years, dressed in hi-vis clothing and surrounded by news cameras.
Mr Andrews thanked his wife and children for their support over the years when announcing his resignation.
“To my family, to my mom and dad, to my sister, I couldn’t ask for more,” he said.
“Cath, she is my best friend and none of this was possible without her support, guidance and love. Noah, Grace and Joseph only know the politics that made this happen. For all that means, thank you . You are my Everything.
Mr Andrews said of his decision to step down: “When it’s time, it’s time.”
“Today I will again attend Government House and resign as Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Mulgrave, effective 5pm tomorrow,” he said.
“I’ve always known that the moment that happens, it’s time to walk away and pass this privilege, this incredible responsibility on to someone else.
“It is not an easy task to be the premier of our state, but that is not a complaint, it is just a fact.
Mr Andrews’ legacy includes a massive – and expensive – infrastructure program, the eradication of level crossings on Victoria’s roads and a massive $135.4 billion state debt next year.
The Andrews family live on the Mornington Peninsula, in a home worth over $1 million.