Ministerial and Parliamentary service
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Michael was elected as the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Party in December 2019.
Michael is also the Shadow Minister for Small Business.
Michael was appointed Shadow Treasurer of Victoria on 17 December 2014.
Michael served as Treasurer of Victoria from 13 March 2013 to 4 December 2014.
As Treasurer, Michael delivered his second Budget on 6 May 2014 with a surplus of
$1.3 billion in 2014-15. Michael’s second Budget cut payroll tax, reduced the fire services levy, reduced WorkCover premiums and abolished stamp duty on life insurance products.
The 2014-15 Budget funded a record state-shaping $27 billion infrastructure investment including the Melbourne Rail Link (incorporating the Airport Rail Link), the Western section of the East West Link, 13 new schools as well as major hospital upgrades throughout Victoria. Michael’s 2013-14 Budget funded stage one of the East West Link.
Under the Napthine Coalition's economic leadership Victoria was the only government in the country - federal, state or territory - that had both a budget surplus and a stable AAA credit rating from both major rating agencies.
One leading investment bank described Michael's 2014-15 Budget as "the fiscal equivalent of the four minute mile" and "an ambitious precedent for other states to follow".
As Treasurer, Michael introduced unsolicited proposal guidelines to encourage private sector partnerships with government, reformed fire services funding in Victoria, delivered significant reductions in red tape and secured the sale of Rural Finance Corporation to Bendigo Bank.
Minister for Energy and Resources, Gaming, Consumer Affairs
Michael served as Minister for Energy and Resources; Minister for Consumer Affairs; and Minister for Gaming from December 2010 to March 2013.
In the energy and resources portfolio Michael designed major reforms to the Victorian energy market including the widespread availability of flexible electricity pricing to households and small businesses. Michael led the design and delivery of the Coalition Government’s $750 million powerline bushfire safety program, and introduced new feed-in tariff arrangements to provide fair incentives free from cross-subsidies.
In the consumer affairs and gaming portfolios Michael led the creation of the new independent regulator, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. Michael reformed liquor licensing laws to strengthen compliance and halved liquor licence fees for over 11,000 lower risk clubs and small businesses.
As Minister, Michael delivered effective and practical measures to support responsible gaming, including establishing the independent Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, the removal of ATMs from gaming venues and introducing a requirement for voluntary pre-commitment technology on gaming machines commencing in 2015-16.
Michael entered Parliament as the Member for Malvern in 2006 and served as a member of the Shadow Cabinet in various portfolios until the election of the Coalition Government in November 2010.
Member for Malvern
Michael was elected to the Parliament of Victoria as the Member for Malvern in 2006. You can read Michael's maiden (first) parliamentary speech here.
As Member for Malvern, Michael has secured:
- full funding for the removal of the Burke Road level crossing in Glen Iris with construction commencing in 2015 with works to be completed in 2016.
- significant funding boost of more than $6.5 million for essential upgrades to local state schools.
- increased investment in local community emergency services, including the deployment of Protective Services Officers at local train stations, the upgrade of Malvern Police station and vehicle replacements for the Malvern Unit of the State Emergency Service; and
- funding of more than $1.7 million to upgrade local sporting facilities and sporting clubs.
Michael is a keen supporter of local community organisations in the Malvern electorate including the Save A Dog Scheme, the Rotary Club of Malvern (where he is an honorary member), East Malvern RSL and junior sporting clubs.
Education and prior experience
Michael was educated at Marcellin College, Bulleen and the University of Melbourne where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours).
Michael undertook his articled clerkship at Molomby & Molomby (now Middletons) and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia. Following completion of articles, Michael practised as a lawyer specialising in industrial and employment law with Deacons (now Norton Rose).
In 1999 Michael was appointed to the personal staff of the then-Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Peter Costello, for whom he was legal counsel and senior adviser until 2004. In that role Michael advised on competition and corporate law, market regulation, microeconomic reform and taxation reform.
In 2004, Michael signed the Roll of Counsel of the Victorian Bar and established a busy practice with a focus on commercial law, trade practices, insurance and corporate law. As a barrister Michael also lectured in trade practices and undertook pro bono work.
Michael was born in Dublin, Ireland in August 1971. Michael lives in his Malvern electorate with his wife and their two children. He follows the Carlton Football Club and is a keen golfer.