Pakula moves into transport hot seat

New Victorian transport minister Martin Pakula. Photo: AJN file

New Victorian transport minister Martin Pakula. Photo: AJN file

NAOMI LEVIN

JEWISH MP Martin Pakula has been handed Victoria’s poisoned chalice —- the transport portfolio.

The state’s transport minister, Lynne Kosky, resigned from parliament last week, citing health problems in her family.

Since taking on the thankless job in 2006, Kosky has had to take responsibility for overcrowded trains, ticketing failures and frequent transport cancellations in Melbourne’s metropolitan area.

Pakula, who was voted in by his caucus colleagues on January 20, will inherit all these problems, including the newly introduced, but problematic, myki electronic travel passes.

The 40-year-old is the Member of the Legislative Council for the Western Metropolitan region. He had a Jewish upbringing in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, having attended Ormond Primary School.

Pakula will also have responsibility for the industrial relations portfolio.

He is one of three Jewish Labor MPs in Victorian Parliament. The others are Marsha Thomson and Jennifer Huppert.