Coate Inquiry smothered by Labor lawyer’s picnic

Confirmation today that the Andrews Labor Government has spent more than twice the total Coate Inquiry budget on legal fees defending itself, is a slap in the face to every Victorian impacted by the government’s devastating second wave.

Victorian departments have now spent at least $12.3 million on lawyers, more than twice the $5.7 million provided to former judge Jennifer Coate to conduct an inquiry into the Andrews Labor Government’s failed hotel quarantine program.

This $12.3 million in legal fees is split across at least five government departments. The ministers behind the catastrophic program sought to protect themselves against one another and avoid accountability over their role in the worst public policy failure in Victoria’s history.

These costs follow Daniel Andrews’ recent refusal to pay Unified Security more than $9.7 million for its role in the hotel quarantine program, despite granting the same company a three-year licence renewal in December 2020.

For too long this dodgy Andrews Labor Government has put its mates first and will do anything it can to coverup to protect their own jobs.

Victorians deserve an open and transparent government – one that values accountability over coverups.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Crime Prevention, David Southwick:

“With more than twice as much funding given to lawyers defending the government than an inquiry to get to the truth, it’s clear Daniel Andrews will do anything to cover up his involvement in the worst public policy failure in Victorian history.

“The Coate Inquiry was set up to fail and Victorians deserve a clear answer to the question of who ordered the use of private security in hotel quarantine.

“Victorians deserve better than a government that only cares about covering its tracks, protecting its own and leaving ordinary Victorians to pick up the tab.

“Andrews and his Labor mates put their own jobs before the jobs of Victorians.”

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