‘Life is short’: Former attorney-general Jill Hennessy won’t contest 2022 election

Former Victorian attorney-general Jill Hennessy will not seek re-election in 2022.

The member for Altona – who as health minister shepherded the state’s assisted dying laws through Parliament – made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday.

Former Victorian attorney-general Jill Hennessy.Credit: Jason South

It follows her decision to step back from cabinet last year to spend more time with her daughters as they prepared for their final years of high school.

“The extra time has prompted me to be more ambitious for them, what they want and our family’s future. No matter how precious your family is, politics can blind you to their needs if you’re not careful. And life is short,” Ms Hennessy said.

“After some reflection, I came to the view that making the commitment to serve another four-year term was incompatible with the other important priorities in my life, especially if I wanted to give them all the best of me.”

Premier Daniel Andrews said Ms Hennessy’s earlier decision to step back from her ministerial duties was a courageous one that would “go a long way in improving the way we talk about the challenges of public life, especially on our family”.

Mr Andrews also announced MPs Danielle Green, the member for Yan Yean, and Dustin Halse, the member for Ringwood, would not seek re-election in 2022.

“Every role Jill has held in this government – every achievement and every reform she’s been part of – has been underpinned by an unfaltering commitment to fairness,” Mr Andrews said.

“That commitment has led to her driving some of the biggest reforms our state has seen – whether it be Australia’s first wage theft laws, nurse-to-patient ratios, workplace manslaughter laws or safe access zones for women’s health services.”

The Premier said Ms Hennessy, as health minister in the Andrews’ government’s first term, had championed immunisation and “taking on anti-vaxxers long before it was a global phenomenon”.

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