Vic cabinet reshuffle imminent

Fairfax newspapers say Mr Bracks has started contacting Labor’s faction chiefs to make it clear he’ll be demanding a big say in the make-up of the new ministry.

At least four ministers from the 20-member cabinet are expected to be dropped, including former police minister Andre Haemeyer and Gaming Minister, John Pandazopoulos.

Mr Bracks is believed to want to promote his former chief-of-staff, Tim Pallas, who won the Lower House seat of Tarneit by elevating him to the front bench.

‘No implications’ federally:PM

Prime Minister John Howard has rejected claims the Victorian Liberals lost the state election on federal issues.

Less than a year out from a federal poll, Mr Howard says he doesn’t believe Labor’s win in Victoria has any ramifications on a national level.

He says the Victorian election was fought overwhelmingly on state issues but his view is at odds with both federal and Victorian Labor.

Premier Steve Bracks is adamant federal issues such as industrial relations and climate change were main issues and Federal Labor leader Kim Beazley agrees.

Baillieu sets new goal

Victorian Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu has rejected suggestions the Liberals will have to wait until 2014 to win government in spite of their disappointing primary vote on Saturday.

Mr Baillieu has confirmed that he intends to stay on as leader as long as his party sees fit.

The defeat was the Liberal Party’s worst result ever.

It needed a swing of 10 per cent to win government in its own right but only managed a swing of around only two per cent.

Analysts say their failure to improve on their 2002 primary vote will consign them to the opposition benches for at least eight years.

Commentators say only a catastrophe could unseat Steve Bracks at the next election in 2010 and the Liberals will have to wait
until 2014.