Calls grow for Daniel Andrews to quit

Angry small business owners have demanded that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews resign as Premier after his government badly botched hotel quarantine for returned international travellers:

Kurt Falkenstein, owner of Revolver Lane, a shared workspace under the Revolver nightclub on Melbourne’s iconic Chapel Street, said… [lockdown] would be “disastrous” for local businesses and the government must be held accountable.

“The Victorian government has had more severe lockdowns than anyone else and they were quite boastful of their success in dealing [with] coronavirus. It’s embarrassing that we’ve gone from the most successful to the worst state,” he said, referring to the failure to contain cases of the virus in the state’s hotel quarantine system.

“I’m a business leader, and I have to take responsibility when my decision affects people. These decisions haven’t worked and are going to ruin thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of livelihoods. I don’t think it would be inappropriate for Daniel Andrews to resign”…

Chrissie Maus, general manager of the Chapel Street Precinct Association,which represents more than 2000 businesses in the area… said those at the top should take responsibility, and called for Premier Andrews to resign.

“I can’t trust [Mr Andrews’] government to effectively manage this, given the hotel quarantine debacle. But not only that. The fact he won’t answer questions on his leadership.

“As a leader, anyone needs to admit their faults… I feel like he has to fall on his sword because the trust has gone,” she said…

More here:

Grant Cohen, whose family owns The Block Arcade [said]… “Our premier has done his best to cruel the city”…

Daniel Rizk, chief executive of the popular Bavarian restaurant chain [said]…

“This is 100 per cent the worst I’ve ever seen it… The state government has screwed the quarantine and we are now paying for it…

“Victorians worked so hard for four weeks to quash this awful disease. They all did a wonderful job. Like the rest of the country.

“However the gate was left open by the premier with the returning travellers and his choice of security. This decision will no doubt haunt him as it continues to damage the Victorian economy and people’s livelihoods.”

Their anger is well justified.

During Tuesday’s press conference, where Daniel Andrews locked down metropolitan Melbourne for another six weeks, he resorted to blaming the victim by repeatedly chastising Victorians’ “bad behaviour” and “complacency” for causing the horrendous spike in COVID-19 infections.

Not once did Daniel Andrews acknowledge his Government’s own incompetent handling of hotel quarantine, which was initially responsible for transmitting COVID-19 from international arrivals into the broader community.

It was the Andrews’ Government that signed the contract with private security firms to manage hotel quarantine, rather than commissioning the Victorian Police, the Department of Corrections, or requesting assistance from the Australian Defence Force.

These private security firms were both poorly trained and ill-equipped for the role, resulting in widespread failures that set the virus loose into the community.

Had hotel quarantine been handled competently, as it was in other states, infections would never have gotten loose into the community and Melbourne would not be shutting down while the rest of the nation reopens.

Now Melbournians have been placed under home lockdown for another six weeks and many businesses will go broke.

As Premier of Victoria, the buck stops with him. Daniel Andrews should fall on his sword.

Leith van Onselen

Comments

  1. ChristopherMEMBER

    This is a dumb idea and will only cause more issues.

    I did not vote for Dan and did not vote Labor but changing right now is stupid.

    • fitzroyMEMBER

      Not so sure. It was the game of mates that caused this. Why should he (and they) be untouchable. Isn’t this ministerial responsibility important?

      • ChristopherMEMBER

        I get it, but I also look at the would be alternatives and see none that I am confident in right now.

        What a mess we are in.

          • ChristopherMEMBER

            Well if I walked in to the job today I would do what all good new CEOs do and that is clear all of the bad news out immediately and pin on the old team, in the COVID-19 context that probably means a harsher and longer lock down.

          • fitzroyMEMBER

            I bet you wouldn’t appoint head security contractor to subcontract quarantine duties to other companies.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Couldn’t be any worse. Let someone else have a turn on the bike.

            Indeed. Vote Greens !

        • Lol this sounds like battered womans syndrome…
          “He treats me like [email protected] putting my life at risk and gas lights me saying I stuffed up when actually he did.. but where else can i go? I wont be able to do any better than him”
          Meanwhile all of NZ sitting there going “trust me it might seem that way while you are in it but you can do so much better than him. Want me to set you up with someone?”

          • Well, I might rant on an entirely tangential point also, if you’ve ever seen a victim of DV on TV or the news and thought “why didnt she just leave him?” just look back at the comments right here…
            Here’s a man who is clearly putting our lives at risk, blaring on TV next day being a pr1ck by blaming the victim, his only answer is to exercise even more control again, takes no responsibility in his own actions and yet we have comment after comment how it’s either “not a good time right now” or “we have noone else better”. And not all these people are women either.
            This is why she never left him.

          • Taking that analogy to the logical conclusion, changing leaders would be leaving an abuser for an even worse partner, unless you’re suggesting we totally disband the state government right now and go full libertarian? People can live without a spouse. States on the other hand, cannot function in a public health crisis without a government.

            Edit- Not saying I agree with Andrews on this- it was bad outsourcuing, bad contract management and failed to own up to the mistake- instead blaming the majority of Victorians who did their reasonable best to follow restrictions. But as far as i am aware it was a mistake on behalf of the government (malicious on behalf of the security company for covering it up) which genuinely would not have wanted to risk another outbreak if they could avoid it.

    • ScientistMEMBER

      I agree that changing now is not the right thing to do for Vic and rest of Australia. They need to focus their time and effort on getting Covid under control and Implementing immediate support to help those businesses ASAP

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      “However the gate was left open by the premier with the returning travellers and his choice of security. This decision will no doubt haunt him as it continues to damage the Victorian economy and people’s livelihoods.”

      No doubt Andrews has fricasseed his credibility and should go.

      But does anyone in their right mind think that the Victorian Liberal Party would have had a less stringent returning travellers policy? (let us all recall the Colorado ski set lockdown in Portsea) or wouldn’t have outsourced security to the cheapest nastiest outfits they could find?  The simple fact is that this is the chickens of about 30 years of State outsourcing policy (and Federal) come home to roost.  Take a look at any ‘high security’ establishment belonging to State or Commonwealth – they are all protected by the same 3 services which were providing fraternising security personnel for the COV19 hotel. Even Defence establishments around Melbourne (Victoria Barracks, RAAF Williams, Pt Cook, HMAS Cerberus) are protected by the same crowd.

      • and when you hire security you don’t consider they might start fvcking the clientele. Privatisation and outsourcing have been around since Thatcher and the death of the left, I see no difference between the other states on this, just hellbourne was unlucky with their fvckwits pretending to be the security detail.

    • Yep, agree. ill-considered call. Looks like LVO is doubling down though. A bit of Trump channelling happening here?

      • ZevombatMEMBER

        Not the content I pay for, and getting repetitive, but probably just have to skip these articles cos doesn’t look like stopping

  2. BoomToBustMEMBER

    Well said, we need to keep the pressure on him until he resigns. His behaviour of blaming the victim for his own failing is like blaming a rape victim for wearing suggestive clothing. It is never the victims fault.

  3. MountainGuinMEMBER

    The terms of reference for the vic quarantine failure will be interesting, wonder if they’ll be public.

    • Are you seriously saying that we shouldn’t allow citizens and permanent residents to return? This was the Victorian Government’s stuff up, pure and simple.

        • I agree they should have been put where we put boat people on those bloody Islands… For at least a month…

          • umm, yeah okay, you’re equating citizens and permanent residents with legal rights to reside and live in Australia to those who are neither citizens, nor residents, and have not taken any legal or proper channel to get into the country. do you think the government can do whatever it wants?

    • You occasionally come up with some pretty good stuff, but you are hopelessly partisan. Andrews snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. We’d been in lockdown for months. Quarantine was the cherry on the sundae. We deserved better.

  4. Arthur Schopenhauer

    And exactly who would replace him? Pallas? Wynne? Both of them would put ponzi-nomics ahead of citizens.

    The handling of quarantine has been infuriating, but there aren’t many competent people on either side of parliament in Victoria.

    Only a handful of weeks ago the Victorian opposition was baying to “open up the state”.

    The root cause of the f’up is structural. A culture of out sourcing, and an emphasis of managing perceptions rather than policy execution is the cause. Lib or Lab, the greater Victorian government would have stumbled at some point because of their culture.

    To change the outcome, the culture has to change. Andrews is in a position to change the culture right now. Falling on his sword will only ensure the existing culture will stay in place.

    • Bear Bullwinkle

      Look at us pretending it matters who’s holding the top job.

      As if ScoMo would have done better — he’d have done 5x worse.

      NSW was flooding the airwaves with advertising encouraging Victorians to travel to NSW — wonder if they’ve cancelled the ads yet or does government move too slowly for that? How’s that looking now?

    • fitzroyMEMBER

      On the contrary, if it is just business as usual there is no responsibility. I Don’t care if the drover’s dog is Premier, you don’t reward bad behavior in children or Premiers. I’m for someone who won’t listen to the factions more than he cares about the electorate.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        Dunno Fitz.
        Changing horses mid stream is a risk, especially if the new jockey is no better leader than the last .
        Scotty from Marketing FU pretty badly during the fires, but has learned from it.
        Cut Andrews the same slack, and hope he does to.
        The fires and the Virus are way out of what was the norm, expecting politicians to get it all right first up is expecting a lot, after all they are politicians.
        Unless it can be arranged for Military/ Medico leadership it is better to leave the incumbent in place.

        • fitzroyMEMBER

          Na. Bugger him. This is the last in a series of systemic stuff ups, usually based on keeping the internal supporters happy. This is even worse than OBOR. There is meant to be ministerial responsibility. Is it really more important a ministerial indiscretion to declare on TV “Fcuk the Premier” which gets you sacked as opposed to losing through incompetence billions for Victorians?

    • Only a handful of weeks ago the Victorian opposition was baying to “open up the state”.

      Infections were almost non existent before the quarantine breaches. That was the right call at the time. Using your logic, the other jurisdictions shouldn’t open up.

      • Bear Bullwinkle

        The other jurisdictions shouldn’t open up unless they want to share the love with NSW which was (still is?) flooding VIC with tourism advertising, heading into our school holidays, while we’re freezing over here.

        Regardless, they will open up, because they’re not any more intelligent or competent than the VIC government.

        They should at least isolate NSW and probably ACT but they won’t.

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        The quarantine breach happened in May. In hindsight, that is the reason why the number in Victoria never went down like the other states : not because there are no cases, but because those infected are not getting tested for one reason or another.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        It was the wrong call at the time Leith, as recent history has shown. The problem with quarantine is a problem of governance. There is no magic wand that can be waved to fix it. Transforming how things are done in any organisation takes time.

        The one area where Victoria has made many deep structural changes has been Bush Fire Services. Black Saturday and the subsequent inquiry changed Bushfire Emergency management from the top to the bottom in Vic Gov. It is effective and well organised now. The chemical storage fires are presently changing the way the Vic EPA works.

        Look at the countries that are successfully containing the virus. They all have competent systems of governance that are practiced at delivering services.

  5. BoomToBustMEMBER

    Why are we locking down at all? Covid-19 by itself has a low mortality rate, its underlying causes that are killing people. The amount of economic harm that is being wrought on Vic to save a few lives is huge, what will the suicide rate and cost to families be in the short, medium and long term.

    • Agree. Protect the vulnerable. A fraction of Federal funds already spent to do that, with a centralised approach – far less than funding Jobkeeper or Jobseeker en masse.

      • Sweden admitted it failed as they didn’t protect nursing homes.

        A no lockdown approach and protecting the aged / sick properly is the ideal that no country has done.

    • Segregate Victoria

      We don’t really know anything about the virus. We do know that when left unchecked it overwhelms on the health system as we saw in Milan. It’s deadly to the elderly. It’s not just dying but the toll on the body.

      Better to err on the side of caution.

      If people kill themselves that’s a choice. People should have 12 months of living expenses put away, the government is handing money out to anyone without a job.

      No-one chooses to be the victim of an incredibly infectious airborne virus like this.

      • Milan was ill prepared – poor health system (not enough care during good times), low cases of flu from previous flu season (more people likely to get corona), and elderly living with the young.

        We are not Milan.

    • MacondoMEMBER

      Let it rip, you reckon, BTB? Sadly, that course of action was discredited and discounted ages ago. What’s more, it’s callous, just dismissing premature deaths by the thousand. Sweden’s your guinea pig, and look what’s happened. The economy has shrunk as much as in neighbouring countries. This piece of research published May12th, based on an analysis of 860,000 bank accounts in Sweden and Denmark, shows how consumer spending in Sweden shrank almost as much as in Denmark, where the case and death rates have been much lower: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2005.04630.pdf
      Sweden’s economy has contracted to the same extent as other European economies and is predicted to do the same in the following financial year. This article in yesterday’s The Age covers it as well as the others I’ve read:
      https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/self-inflicted-wound-sweden-has-become-the-world-s-pandemic-cautionary-tale-20200708-p55a04.html

      • BoomToBustMEMBER

        I had a quick look through your data and it generally seems to reference spending only. From what I can determine Covid19 largly effects those 70 and over with pre-existing conditions. Sure it probably effects some young people, but so does any virus or germ, there is always someone going to die from it, generally not the strong and healthy. However what we are doing is sacrificing the young (and generally strong and healthy) to keep the old, sick and frail alive. Would a better solution be to allow those who are comfortable in working and socializing to go and do so, while supporting those who are not. The death rate and economic impacts would be much less and the death rate and load on hospitals would not jump significantly. A win all round.

        • I recommend you do some more comprehensive and effective determining. The “covid only kills old sick people” meme is bogus.

          Beyond that, many survivors including young people have an incredible range of life changing symptoms including permanent lung scarring, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain damage blood thickening/clotting and dog knows what else.

          Read a bit more widely and then come back and say “I have no fear of catching this bug”.

          • That’s right, some young-ish musical actor in the US died so that proves it! We all know actors are the best examples of good health.

            The young die of the flu every year and it doesn’t get reported on.

            Glandular fever et al have long-term effects but we don’t close down our society because of their long term effects.

          • Lord Winchester EntwhistleMEMBER

            My good man I am trying to think of an apt analogy to ascribe to your valiant efforts in deploying rationale and logic.

            Alas, though, the best I can come with is a baby. You’re arguing with people who have the mental acuity of babies

      • Sweden’s mistake was not to protect the elderly (nursing homes).

        Sweden’s economy is sick as the world economy is tanking. It’s economy would be worse if it did go into total lockdown.

    • Coz unless you are able to explain the effects of the virus even long term stuff even to people who may survive, it shuts down the economy anyway. People shut themselves in back in March before the lockdowns.

  6. agree but first Scumo has to resign for his handling of bushfires and covid19. From memory he was suggesting to everyone to go to the footy. If it wasn’t for the Premiers (including Dan) we would have been like Italy and Spain at that time.

    • I think COVID is the MB strawman. Dan committed the original “CHAI-NAH!” sin, hence the call for him to resign.

      • Yes quite a few others have to resign before Dan does. I see his use of security guards as possibly deliberately avoiding provoking the masses after the brutal behaviour of Vic Police against climate change protesters fresh in his mind. Even if it was cheap and it was game of mates, Dan might still have thought it would keep the populace calmer. It also stems from the deep multicultural bent of Victoria, maybe he hoped he’d be keeping temporary visa holders employed. I can’t see how he was responsible for the companies‘ failures to train or to foresee that some jokers would have liaisons. For forty years we’ve been told to believe the private sector does it better but as soon as the private sector fails the right say it’s a Labor premier’s fault. The head of the security company should apologise and resign.

        • I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the only Australian state that had an Opposition party declaring the initial lockdown measures unnecessary and calling the Premier a “Dictator” for attempting to enforce this is the state to have a second wave of infections. Imagine the outrage if Dan had got the army involved like a real dictator would!

        • fitzroyMEMBER

          The chief contractor or the subcontractor? Ministerial responsibility says the responsible minister should no longer be receiving $10,000 a week. There a a lot of people who would make a better Premier. My choice would be Martin Pakula,

  7. Every polly who makes a mistake of any degree should resign, but only if they are Labor, and only if The Australian and/or Leith say so. The temerity if Andrews to not fall on his sword! Scummo should have a quiet word to him during the National Cabinet, but no one can find Scummo so that’s probably not going to happen. And the Eden Monaro bi election was a clear victory of some sort or the other to the Coalition.

    • You’ve got the memo too!
      Personally, I think this is just click-bait for MB.
      It’s as if changing Dan out for someone else will make any difference.
      There is bipartisan support for the huge migration/development/jobs-n-growth/debt to the hilt/consume or die/GDP-is-God crap
      it won’t matter who you choose, you will still get the outsourced craptacular disaster that is Australian Standard Procedure.
      Sure, get Mr O’brian in from the opposition. Does anyone here really think he would do anything different?
      It might keep the News Corp operatives satiated for a week or so but that is a high price to pay for that.

    • Good one! This has all the fingerprints of a Morrison hit job – the guy hates Andrews due to his popularity and getting his way in the National Cabinet, and has form in getting his lackeys like Tehan, Hunt, Tim Smith and his a***lickers in the media to do perform the hatchet job. One can google Michael Towke, or even look at the Turnbull/Dutton leadership spill which saw him somehow fall over the line.

  8. I only watch Sky after dark for the comedy value, and to test irony meters. Some here must think it should be taken seriously

  9. COVID-19 is actually all the fault of Dan Andrews. It’s no longer the Wu Flu, it’s the Dan Flu. He will be asked to compensate the world for the losses suffered globally, but especially in China and America. He’s a very bad man.

    • Lol I would love to see the day that CCP point the finger at Melbourne and come out to say that Wuflu started in Melbourne lol.. like they did with Italy and Spain and US…

  10. he s not any worse than any other Premier … in fact slightly better than some like Palaszczuk

  11. bzunicaMEMBER

    This is one sided as others have said. There are many who support Andrews if twitter can be trusted in anyway. The #istandwithdan has been trending for over a day. We in NSW got lucky with the ruby princess, but no one lost their job over it.

    • And none of this insistent calling for politicians in NSW to be sacked over the Ruby Princess debacle.
      None at all as I can see.
      It’s all on Dan. All of it.

  12. Does anyone else see the irony? Labor Premier stuffs up by outsourcing an essential Government service, while the Liberal Premier next door correctly provides the service directly through Government employees.

  13. run to the hillsMEMBER

    Things are now just bizarre in Melbourne. In the Age a couple of days ago they had a lead story headlined “You are all Heroes” above a picture of the Flemington and North Melbourne commission towers, I initially thought they were referring to the cops and health workers keeping a lid on the things there, but no, the residents were somehow the heroes.

    Also, I can’t believe Revolver nightclub is still going, had a ridiculous amount of fun there about 20 years ago on Sunday mornings/arvos!!

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      Yeah, that Age story was strange. Whilst I understand it must be tough for the folks in the towers, they are hardly ‘heros’ by any metric I can determine. Doing it tough perhaps but ‘heros’? Not sure what that was about….

    • They meant to write “You are all despised” but there was a typesetting error.

  14. not mine, but…

    “A horny, underpaid security guard who works for a company run by bikies infecting a whole city with a “Chinese virus” because they had sex with a fully sick chick in a hotel room is a storyline straight out of Fat Pizza.
    Or Melbourne, Mid 2020.”

  15. What was Dans or someone else’s relationship with the security companies that got the lead contract & why did they get the gig in front of offers from ADF et al?
    I can’t understand why it was done so differently in Melbourne compared with other places. Was there a special relationship with the security providers or the who owns the security companies that got the contracts & then outsourced to whoever?

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      I suspect it was the cheapest option. Nothing more, nothing less. After years of outsourcing everything they don’t seem to know any better or (still) understand the risks.

    • I reckon if you look hard enough you’ll find money (or some other form of payment) changing hands.

  16. This might come as a terrible shock to the average Victorian voter, but I will say it anyway:

    Even if Daniel Andrews refuses to resign from his position of Premier of Victoria for the quarantine debacle it is still possible to remove him from this position BY NOT VOTING LABOR AT THE NEXT ELECTION.

    Go on voters, try it and see what happens. (Put Labor last and Liberal 2nd last).

  17. Peter HeriotMEMBER

    Easy to throw stones, like you’ve all forgotten that it was Dan who dragged Scomo kicking and screaming to take any action at all to help Aus to dodge the worst of it. There’s plenty more to come, we’re still in the first battle of long drawn out slug fest. Lots of lessons to learn on the way and plenty of places you can relocate to if you don’t like it here, but the suggestion that Dan Andrews needs to resign for incompetence would mean that the entire federal government needs to resign as well.