Andrews not the only guilty party: tough questions any new Victorian Labor leader must answer

Speculation continues to run rife on who will replace Daniel Andrews as Leader of Victorian Labor as a result of his botched hotel quarantine program which caused the state’s second wave of infections and harsh lockdowns.


The damage to Victorians and our economy under Andrews is extreme: unacceptable and entirely avoidable loss of life, the destruction of businesses, especially small businesses, and the massive job losses hurting so many Victorians. Victoria will be a sadly diminished and poorer place at the end of Andrews’ reign.


His successor must be more open and honest with the people of Victoria about the State Government’s failings than Andrews himself has been. No more obfuscation.


All four prospective Labor replacements for Andrews were, and are, members of the ‘gang of eight’ COVID Co-ordinating Ministers and share responsibility for the Labor Government’s spectacular failure on quarantine management and contact tracing.


The choices include Jill Hennessey, Martin Pakula, Jacinta Allan and James Merlino. All must share responsibility. All must face proper Westminster standards of responsibility. None of the above should be allowed to step forward without facing the actual music.


Victorians will expect answers from whoever becomes Andrews’ successor to the following tough questions:


1. When did you first become aware of the debacle in the Victorian hotel quarantine program?

2. When did you first become aware of the debacle in the Victorian contact tracing program?

3. What did you do about the debacle in the Victorian hotel quarantine program?

4. What did you do about the debacle in the Victorian contact tracing program?

5. When did you first become aware of the decisions of the Andrews Labor Government to reject offers of assistance to Victoria from the Australian Defence Force in March/April and again in June?

6. Did you support the decisions of the Andrews Labor Government to reject offers of assistance to Victoria from the Australian Defence Force in March/April and again in June?

7. Why has the Andrews Labor Government refused to provide any financial support for sole traders adversely impacted by the COVID-19 lock downs?

8. Do you support the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to refuse to provide any financial support for sole traders adversely impacted by the COVID-19 lock downs and, if not, will you finally provide appropriate financial support for sole traders adversely impacted by the COVID-19 lock downs?


Daniel Andrews’s repeated refusal to honestly address these questions is the driving force behind current speculation about who will replace him.


Any new Labor Leader must immediately come clean on the answers to these questions or face the same fate. Andrews is not the only guilty party.


David Davis MP

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council

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