Battin back in shadow cabinet

Gembrook MP Brad Battin is back in shadow cabinet. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS 242885_03

By Danielle Kutchel

Gembrook MP Brad Battin has been returned to the shadow ministry after Matthew Guy replaced Michael O’Brien as Victorian Opposition Leader.

Mr Battin has been handed the shadow emergency services portfolio, including police, victim support, community safety and corrections.

It’s a good fit for the MP, who is a former police and prison officer.

“I’m wrapped to be back in shadow cabinet,” Mr Battin told Star News.

“Now we can put some positive policy together going forward, talking about what we want to do and the services we want to see delivered if we get into government.”

Mr Battin highlighted several areas of focus, including the fire services.

He said harassment had been raised as an issue in the past, and said he wanted to make sure people feel safe to go to work.

He said he has hit the ground running, making contact with key stakeholders like the Police Association of Victoria to introduce himself and discuss ideas for the future.

He said he’s looking forward to having “positive discussions for change”, and wanted to remind Victorians that Victoria Police is “an amazing organisation”.

“I want to ensure that that voice is heard from them and they get the respect they deserve,” he said.

As for the corrections side of his portfolio, Mr Battin said it was important to ensure the corrections system worked to get “bad people off the street” while also rehabilitating offenders, to reduce the reoffender rate in Victoria.

Mr Battin will have a tough balancing act ahead of him between his electorate duties and his portfolios.

But the popular Gembrook MP said his priority would always be his electorate, and pledged to “keep their message going”.

“I’ve got to make sure I’m delivering for the state, but never at the expense of my electorate,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to my next challenge. I’ll be out there making sure people in my electorate aren’t forgotten.”