RETIRING Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been lauded for helping his hometown of Wangaratta, but criticised for failing Wodonga.
The Labor Party leader announced on Tuesday September 26 that he would be stepping down as Premier from 5pm on Wednesday September 27.
"To have been Premier for nine years and the leader of my party for 13 years is a greater set of opportunities than I ever thought would be afforded to me, a kid from the country with only really an aspiration to do good, to work hard," Mr Andrews said.
The former student of Wangaratta's Galen Catholic College flagged that he could no longer give 100 per cent commitment to the job.
"You never want to get to a point where you resent this job. I simply won't allow that to happen," Mr Andrews said.
"Results will speak for themselves and people will form their own views," Mr Andrews said.
"I'm not giving you a big long list because quite frankly self-praise isn't worth much, it isn't worth much at all."
Wangaratta mayor Dean Rees was happy to laud Mr Andrews' contribution to his city.
"Dan Andrews has been good for the rural city of Wangaratta, we've achieved a lot with the help of the Victorian Government, indirectly through (Labor MLC) Jaclyn Symes who has been a great advocate for us through the Labor Party," Cr Rees said.
"And obviously with Dan Andrews being a Wangaratta boy that helped us a little bit.
"We've certainly applied for a lot of grants and a lot of money over the years and done very well out of that process.
Liberal MP for Benambra Bill Tilley said Mr Andrews had been a strong leader for Labor and unions and nine years as Premier is a "significant achievement and would take its toll".
However, beyond support through bushfires in 2020, Mr Tilley said the Premier had "done little else" for the Border area.
"He showed a wilful disregard to our issues with border checkpoints and lockdowns during COVID, ignored our pleas regarding a new hospital and will leave the state in record debt with no money for our roads or education," Mr Tilley said.
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Wodonga mayor Ron Mildren hopes Mr Andrews' departure may assist his council's campaign for a new Twin Cities hospital.
"We'll take whatever opportunities that are provided to us to try and raise whatever issues are still unresolved," Cr Mildren said.
"Perhaps with the change in personnel there might be an opportunity to get some cut through on those."
North East Labor stalwart and former election candidate Zuvele Leschen first met Mr Andrews when he was a teenage university student and they were both on their party's rural and regional affairs policy committee.
"You can be a country boy and you can end up leading the state and that's a big message for anyone from our region," Ms Leschen said.
"You don't write yourself off just because you're from Wangaratta or the North East, your ambition can be endless."
However, Ms Leschen believes "in some ways he let the Labor Party here down".
"I have always felt we missed an opportunity to make a bit more headway, having the Premier as a homeboy," she said.
"I think that was deliberate, his base was in the city and that's what he was trying to appeal to.
"I would have liked to have seen a bit more support for the people here."
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