World News – UA – After weeks of roundabout questions, Andrews gave a career-killing response


Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews often gives lengthy answers in his daily marathon press conferences, but when he blamed others he was brief and to the point

In his landmark appearance before the Coate Inquiry into the botched hotel quarantine program, Andrews was concise and to the point, and in doing so threw Health Minister Jenny Mikakos under the political bus

The Prime Minister’s testimonies distanced themselves from key decisions and instead placed them on the command of the State Control Center (CSC) and senior officials

But many critical issues remain unanswered about what went wrong with the hotel quarantine Program failures sparked Victoria’s second wave of coronavirus

Even though the Prime Minister’s testimony is supported by the investigation, it does not absolve the government of responsibility for what happened under his leadership

All over Victoria ministers, staff, MPs and civil servants watched the hearings with a frozen expression Some were shocked at how well he was doing

After months of dodging questions about the responsibility of quarantine in hotels, he singled out Mikakos, who a day earlier had distanced himself from his responsibilities during his testimony

Her future was immediately in doubt, not only by Andrews’ statement that she was responsible, but also because she appeared to have misled the investigation by claiming that she had not learned about it. ‘existence of private security only in May

And this despite his participation in a press conference on March 29 where Minister Martin Pakula mentioned the use of security in hotels as well as caucus briefings describing the implication of security

Mikakos denies having misled the investigation and has filed a new statement with the probe supporting his position

But it was clear that she was already on loan This morning, she announced that she would not only leave Cabinet, but resign from Parliament

Like everyone who has appeared before him, Daniel Andrews does not know who made the unfortunate decision to use private security

Andrews said like a bushfire or other disaster, quarantine in hotels was an operational matter for the state control center, which includes Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp

Andrews, still deliberate, makes it clear in the first line of his statement to the inquiry that the SCC led the program

And although this is an excuse, why did no one in government look into who made the decision?

The Prime Minister also did not appear to believe that the police had not been consulted on the use of private security – as the investigation had heard this week – and he was assisted in this point of view by survey

« Does it seem unusual to you that an execution decision has been taken without consulting the chief of police or the minister of police? » the lawyer attending the investigation asked Rachel Ellyard

« It would be irrelevant, it would not be the normal practice which I have certainly observed over a long period of time, » replied the Prime Minister

Andrews insinuated that the decisions of others were the reason why the ADF – a political thorn – was not more widely used

And this despite the fact that he said at press conferences at the end of March that the ADF would be used

« What was required was not something I determined, » Andrews told the inquest

But he also questioned the nature of ADF’s offer of support, saying that what was discussed in the National Cabinet and what the Prime Minister said at press conferences were different.

Ellyard spoke about collective decision-making as a reason why so many people may not have been able to remember who decided to use private security

Ellyard then brought up the idea that some decisions were made by officials, not ministers, on the basis of « creeping assumptions » about what the government might wish

As Melbourne entered a tight lockdown on nighttime curfews, mandatory masks and bans on social gatherings, the ABC began documenting life during this unique event in a century with the words of those who lived there

This was of concern to the Prime Minister as well and a view privately shared by some of his colleagues

There was also a hint of frustration on the part of the PM as to why he had not been made aware of an offer of support via email from ADF aid in April to its Head of Commonwealth Department

She followed Department of Health Secretary Kym Peake earlier this week, revealing to the investigation that she had not passed on vital information to Mikakos

The Prime Minister’s testimony highlighted arm’s length decision-making with ministers and while this is frustrating for the government, he does not capitalize on it

Even though key decisions have been taken at the operational level, the executive must be involved, providing oversight and input into those decisions

Because at the end of the day it is the government, through ministers and the Prime Minister, who are ultimately responsible, which Daniel Andrews is well aware of

Health Minister’s head has now rolled As she resigned, she said the responsibility had ended with her but wished her department had kept her more informed

As she broke up, she also glanced at the Prime Minister, claiming that she didn’t agree with all the facts presented and that she didn’t like her integrity being compromised

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Throughout the investigation, blame was placed on multiple departments running the show and decisions were made without accountability A frustration of many in government is that too many decisions are left to too few people and to the Prime Minister’s Office

And these staff « creeping assumptions », which have not been vetted by the executive, create a problem, because at the end of the day it’s up to elected officials to be held to account

Mikakos’ resignation was practically inevitable, but it will send a shock wave through Cabinet and caucus, especially given the way the Prime Minister publicly executed her politically.

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AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Daniel Andrews press conference

News from the world – UA – After weeks of roundabout questions, Andrews gave a career-killing response


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