Jane Garrett of Victorian Labor MP died of breast cancer at the age of 49.
A former emergency minister, who has been a member of parliament since 2010, was diagnosed with the disease in 2016 and announced at the end of last year that he would not run for reelection in a 2022 state poll.
Brunswick and Garrett, a member of Eastern Victoria, resigned from the cabinet in 2016 over the controversial UnionPay contract with firefighters.
Victoria’s Prime Minister Daniel Andrews talked about Garrett’s heartfelt defense of the workers and expanded the state funeral offer as a sign of her “significant contribution to Victoria.”
Her death on Saturday night was announced in a statement from her family praising her “infectious love for life and people.”
“We are overwhelmed by the death of our beloved mother, sister, daughter and dear friend Jane Garrett this afternoon after a long battle with cancer,” the statement said.
“Unfortunately, Jane’s cancer has recently recurred shortly after remission, and she was hospitalized earlier this week.
“Thanks to the Epworth Freemasonry staff for loving and caring for Jane over the last few years, especially the past week.
“We always remember Jane’s life and her infectious love for people. Her intense compassion and willingness to make her a very fierce advocate for women and the most disadvantaged.
“Her intelligence, wit and generosity are irreplaceable, and her loss leaves a big hole in the Garrett family.”
She survives with three children, 19-year-old Molly, 15-year-old Sasha, and Max, 10-year-old.
“It’s sad to know that eastern Victoria member Hong Jane Garrett died after a long fight against cancer,” Andrews said in a statement on Saturday.
“On behalf of the Victoria State Government and the Parliamentary Labor Party, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Jane’s family, friends, colleagues, and everyone who knew and loved her.
“I can’t imagine the sadness that her family, especially her three children, must be feeling in this incredibly difficult time. My thoughts are on them.”
Regarding Garrett’s decade as a prominent politician, Andrews said, “We enthusiastically supported the rights of working people and fought their careers for safer and more secure work.”
“Her commitment to education, equality and social justice for all was clear,” he said.
“Jane lived a life serving the labor movement, the Labor Party, and our state.”
Former Victorian sports minister Martin Pakula, who resigned from the cabinet and announced his retirement from politics in late June, tweeted his commission to Garrett’s family.
“I’m very sorry to hear that my dear friend Jane has died. Love and longevity for (husband) James, Sasha, Max and Molly,” he wrote.