The Liberal Nationals have today called for an independent inquiry into the gross misuse of taxpayers’ money after it was revealed that political staffers from Daniel Andrews’ private office were secretly spying on taxpayer-funded focus groups.
The Andrews Labor Government’s $2 million political strategist embarked on large scale surveys, rating the government out of 10 for its performance during the COVID-19 crisis whilst Victorians were facing our longest lockdown.
Daniel Andrews has always said pandemic-related decisions were made on health advice, yet he has never once released the formal written paperwork.
Now we find many of the decisions have been made on the basis of secret taxpayer-funded polling, with the questions being framed by the Premier’s own private staff.
The secret polling makes it very clear that many of the decisions made surrounding restrictions were based on public opinion polling and casts real doubt as to whether some of the decisions have been made on health advice at all.
The Andrews Labor Government was previously caught red handed stealing public money to fund its 2014 election campaign. The Ombudsman blew the whistle and they were forced to pay the money back, and now they’re using taxpayers’ money to fund their polling efforts.
It comes as some businesses and sole traders are still waiting to get a single cent in support after five lockdowns, yet the government can find millions to spend on tailoring its image.
Victorians deserve accountability and transparency from the Andrews Labor Government, not cover-ups. Only a Liberal Nationals Government will deliver that.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, David Davis:
“The Andrews Labor Government has crossed the line using public funds for party political research.
“This is all about using taxpayers’ money for Labor Party advantage – this is red shirts research and it stinks.
“This is a Premier who is more interested in saving face than focusing on saving the lives of Victorians.
“Victorians who were locked down for so long and so harshly deserve to see the truth, including the formal advice in full. What does the Premier have to hide?
“Labor's secret state cannot be allowed to continue. Daniel Andrews must immediately release the public health advice and come clean to Victorians.”