Again the Andrews Labor Government isn’t being transparent with Victorians.
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos yesterday failed to rule out the use of DPC guidelines to vet submissions and materials sent to the hotel quarantine inquiry.
During question time the Health Minister chose not to confirm or deny that government submissions to the Coate inquiry into the government’s botched hotel quarantine program are subject to the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s “guidelines for submissions and responses to inquiries”.
In paragraph 40 of the guidelines is stated “the Premier may choose to veto the decision to proceed with a submission, or require the final submission to be approved by him or Cabinet”.
Ms Mikakos also refused to guarantee or even seek to ensure that the Premier will not veto any submissions, or information to the Coate inquiry from her own Department of Health and Human Services.
It is not appropriate for the Premier to exercise his veto power over what is submitted by his Department to the inquiry. The inquiry must have access to all documents so it can provide scrutiny of the government’s actions, given the devastating impact this hotel quarantine second wave has had on Victorian lives and livelihoods.
Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, David Davis:
“At the last sitting of the Legislative Council every single question put to Minister Mikakos was taken on notice to avoid scrutiny. Despite her subsequent claim she was attending Parliament today prepared to answer questions, Minister Mikakos failed to provide direct replies.
“Why won’t Minister Mikakos be open and honest with Victorians? What does she have to hide?
“It is little wonder Daniel Andrews has unceremoniously demoted Minister Mikakos. She’s been stripped of her of responsibility for the COVID-19 pandemic, which she has comprehensively botched at huge cost to Victorians and she appears to have learned nothing from the experience, continuing to refuse to provide straight answers in the Parliament.”