Elected to Parliament as Member for Southern Metropolitan Region at the 2014 election, Mr Dalidakis was previously employed at Deloitte, operated his own small business, and was also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI).

Mr Dalidakis said he was looks forward to delivering on the Labor Government’s agenda to create jobs, build innovation and bring investment to Victoria.

“It is a great honour to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve as a Minister in the Andrews Labor Government,” he said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the appointment was fitting for Mr Dalidakis.

“I’m proud to announce Philip Dalidakis as Victoria’s newest Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade. He is a great addition to my team and will be a strong advocate for small businesses,” he said.

Mr Dalidakis’ former employer, VAFI, have also congratulated him on the recent appointment.

Current VAFI CEO, Tim Johnston, said Mr Dalidakis has long been a supporter of the forest and wood products industry and wished him every success in his new role.

“With previous experience across both the commercial and government sectors, including being CEO of VAFI from 2007 to 2011, the knowledge and skills Mr Dalidakis brings will be of great benefit to the Cabinet and the wider Government.

“I look forward to working with Mr Dalidakis to secure a bright future for the forest and wood products industry,” Mr Johnston said.

The forest and wood products industry in Victoria is a dynamic sector of the economy that uses wood – a renewable, biodegradable, recyclable product – to create materials for new homes, buildings and furniture, paper, as well as fuel for green energy.

The forest and wood products industry directly employs more than 21,000 workers and indirectly supports another 40,000 to 50,000 jobs in Victoria alone.