Dan Andrews contradicts himself on hotel quarantine

During yesterday’s parliamentary inquiry, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews explicitly denied that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was offered for use in the state’s hotel quarantine program (watch video below):

Liberal MP: “So my question is: Why did you choose to use private security guards rather than police or ADF?:

Dan Andrews: “I’m glad you mentioned the use of ADF. I don’t believe ADF support was on offer. ADF support has been provided in very limited circumstances in NSW. Not to provide security as such, but to provide transportation from the airport to hotels. So again, I think it is fundamentally incorrect to assert that their was hundreds of ADF staff on offer, and somehow someone said no”.

However, in a press release issued by Daniel Andrews on 27 March, he explicitly stated that ADF would be engaged to assist with hotel quarantine [my emphasis]:

Following agreement by the National Cabinet, all travellers returning from overseas to Victoria will be placed in enforced quarantine for a self-isolation period of 14-days to slow the spread of coronavirus…

National Cabinet has agreed that all states and territories will put in place enforced quarantine measures…

It has also been agreed that the Australian Defence Force will be engaged to support the implementation of these arrangements.

Dan Andrews also told the ABC on 28 March that Victoria Police, health authorities and the ADF would be used to manage hotel quarantine, before opting for private security instead:

“[These] continued, next big steps are exactly what we need if we are going to contain this virus, save lives and make sure that our health system doesn’t get overrun,” he said.

“[Returning travellers] will be housed, they will be fed, they will be transported. There will be no cost to them.

“This is the best way to ensure absolute compliance.”

Monitoring would carried out by Victoria Police, health authorities and the Australian Defence Force, the Premier added.

Australian Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds, also issued a press released yesterday stating that ADF personnel were offered but denied by the Victorian Government:

Throughout the pandemic the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been postured to respond to requests for support from the states and territories at very short notice.

From 21 March 2020, ADF planning teams were established in every state and territory to rapidly facilitate any requests for support.

Following the Prime Minister’s offer on 27 March 2020 for ADF support to states and territories with the new mandatory 14-day quarantine period for international arrivals, the ADF discussed requirements with relevant state and territory authorities.

On 28 March 2020, Victorian authorities advised that Victoria was not seeking ADF assistance with mandatory quarantine arrangements. The ADF was consistently advised that its assistance was not required for any “public facing roles” in Victoria.

ADF officials asked whether Victorian authorities required assistance with its mandatory quarantine system on multiple occasions. No request for quarantine support was subsequently received from Victoria at that time.

On 12 April 2020, Victorian authorities reaffirmed to ADF officials that all quarantine compliance monitoring operations were within Victorian authorities’ capacity.

Defence agreed to requests for support to quarantine compliance from Queensland and NSW on 28 March.

In NSW, ADF personnel began supporting the reception of international arrivals at Sydney Airport and undertaking quarantine compliance monitoring at hotels the following day.

In Queensland, ADF personnel began supporting reception of international arrivals at Brisbane airport the following day, and supported quarantine compliance monitoring at hotels from 31 March.

On 14 April 2020, the ADF shared observations on best practice quarantine compliance monitoring operations with all state and territory police commissioners, including the success of interagency operations between the ADF and NSW Police.

On 24 June 2020, Defence agreed to a Victorian Government request for 850 ADF personnel to assist with hotel quarantine compliance. The request was withdrawn by the Victorian Government the following day. The decision to withdraw the request is a matter for the Victorian Government.

On 3 August 2020, the ADF agreed to provide up to 50 personnel to support Western Australian authorities with support to hotel quarantine.

Under Defence Assistance to the Civil Community (DACC) arrangements, Defence provides assistance to states and territories when requested through Emergency Management Australia. DACC arrangements are predicated on states and territories requesting Defence assistance.

Once again, Dan Andrews is being loose with the truth.

Leith van Onselen
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Comments

  1. Reus's largeMEMBER

    Yet there are still those #istandwithchairmandan fcukwits that seem to be blind to the lies and double speak

    • TheLambKingMEMBER

      And there are those #IStandWithMurdoch followers that are being suckered by the same old Murdoch ‘bring down the left leader’ playbook.The Murdoch press (because they can) are hammering Dan about this and they are not backing down. They keep repeating the same message day after day. So people (#IStandWithMurdoch) keep making statements like Dan and the Health minister should resign. When for the same kind of mistakes that the LNP make there is silence from the Murdoch press.

      The LNP have had about a good dozen ‘scandals’ (where people have died) where a minister should have resigned (water rights, au pairs, poisoned grasslands, Barnaby and his assistant, barrier reef funding, robodebt, ‘it’s ok to be white’, chinese election signs, Hawaii holiday, Sports Rots) – with almost silence from the Murdoch press. There is no follow up and no continual hounding for blood!

      I am no Labor supporter. But if not a single LNP politician has resigned or been sacked for the list above, why should we expect Dan to step down? You can’t see the double standards and this is just politics. Churchill made many mistakes that cost lives, but was still the best person to lead during the war.

      Hotel quarantining was Dan’s idea – Morrison wanted everyone isolating at home. I wonder how that would have gone? The same people screaming at Dan are the same people screaming for Australia to open up early – which would have been disastrous.

      • You are aware that it’s possible to hold a non-partisan opinion which criticises Dan Andrews ?

        The situation of reinfecting Australia with the virus didn’t arise from a mistake or an accident, it arose from a political decision to prioritise party affiliations over a commitment to the health , wealth, welfare and freedom of the Australian people.

        • TheLambKingMEMBER

          You are aware that it’s possible to hold a non-partisan opinion which criticises Dan Andrews ?

          Yes, but I am yet to see it in practice 🙂

          The situation of reinfecting Australia with the virus didn’t arise from a mistake or an accident, it arose from a political decision to prioritise party affiliations over a commitment to the health , wealth, welfare and freedom of the Australian people.

          But that partisan view ignores the fact that if Dan followed the instructions from Morrison there would have been no hotel quarantining in Australia, the borders would have been open and we would have followed the ‘Trump’ model. So, in your non-partisan view, where do you think Australia would be now if we followed ScoMo’s advice rather than Dan’s?

          All I am saying (and it is the majority view in Victoria) is that Dan has done a pretty good job, there have been catastrophic mistakes, but if that was the basis for being hounded, why is no one making a noise about RoboDebt in the same fashion where there is evidence of more than 2000 deaths as a result? This is all partisan politics, and if it was an LNP politician that made the mistake we would not be hearing about it now. As an example – how is the Ruby Princess media backlash going? Where Dutton’s department were shown to have made a mistake that cost lives???

          • NSW has overseen three times the numbers through hotel quarantine than Victoria without anywhere near the same problems.

            You cannot polish this turd no matter how hard you attempt to deflect onto other unrelated issues. Failed quarantine is why VIC has 96% of the nation’s active COVID-19 cases.

            You also conveniently fail to mention that Dan’s government failed to act on early warnings and badly starved the public health unit of funding, leaving it critically short of contract tracers.

          • TheLambKingMEMBER

            I am not trying to polish a turd. Yes, Dan stuffed up. Yes, he has accepted responsibility. Yes, I am angry at him. But I am more angry at the Security Companies – why is the Murdoch media not going after them? Why has no one been asked to resign or had their contracts cancelled?

            But, the points I am trying to make is that:

            1) Why is everyone expecting him to resign? He made a mistake. Yes a very costly one. But there are a number incidence from the LNP scandals that have not been mistakes, but have been corrupt/illegal/improper KNOWINGLY and have not resigned or have been hounded to resign by the Murdoch press.

            2) Australia would be in a MUCH WORSE state if we listened to Morrison. It didn’t, it followed the lead of Dan Andrews and averted a worse (US Trump style) situation. You are judging a battle, not the war. How many mistakes did Churchill make – and how do you judge him?

            Quarantining is the responsibility of the Federal Government.It should not have been Dan’s mistake to make. You are blaming him for something that is ScoMo’s responsibility – he was making it up as he went and made a mistake. Returned travelers should have been sent to the NT or Christmas Islands or some other Federal facility with Federal oversight – but that would not have met the LNP’s backers needs to have the economy open as soon as possible!

      • Dan WallsMEMBER

        You do realise this is becoming the most expensive government mistake of all time? In addition to abysmal contact tracing, failure to make testing mandatory for quarantining travelers and allowing infected people out for exercise in public..

      • Agree, and has Reynolds actually produced a written statement showing the advice offered?

        Australian media including MB play the ‘libertarian trap’ and over time ignore corruption and/or incompetence within the LNP ranks, it’s constant bagging of Labor and related e.g. unions, women, greens, immigrants etc, to deflect from the LNP government and/or party.

        MB has become more like a bunch of ageing reactionary white Christian nationalists that the LNP is.

        There are a multitude of mistakes that can be focused upon, but they are not simply the domain of the Andrews government.

        • Righto Andrew. So if this is not the fault of the state government – which employed uber drivers to manage hotel quarantine over police, the department of corrections or the ADF with disastrous consequences – who’s is it?

          You are completely deluded buddy.

  2. It still ignores the obvious deficiency: why did they think it was a good idea to concentrate returned travellers in the middle of the city?
    Should have bussed them out to Puckapunyal /Sale.

    • Agreed. Quarantine is the most important defence against the virus.

      It should be conducted in regional areas by trained professionals, not by uber drivers in the heart of the CBD.

    • Yeah but how do you throw the hotel lobby a financial bone in the middle of a pandemic that has obliterated the value of their assets – hotels in the heart of CBDs?

      • You put up the frontline health workers who need to isolate from family. You house the ADF personnel who would be assisting had they been asked to.

        • Err yeah but threat would involve govt stumping up the dosh.
          This is so they can get overseas new warm bodies to stump up the $$ eventually.. gladys already making that happen.

  3. Hotels were never built with quarantine in mind, it is only a matter of time before breaks happen using them, whoever administers it. There has been plenty of time for makeshift quarantine facilities to be constructed outside city centres, so that the inevitable breakouts are harmless since there is no where to go. Bailouts for hotel companies are not worth the cost.

    Also time for dedicated fever hospitals……..this is probably why the nurses are copping it…….normal hospitals are not built for it and the isolation wards I have seen are not for a plague……… and the PPE use is really quite specialised.

    • Jevons ghostMEMBER

      Jeff Kennett closed the Fairfield Infectious Diseases hospital in 1996. Time for Dan the Man to kick the freeloaders out of there and re-commission the place.

  4. Politics 101
    Who would be a one of these sorry individuals with no integrity, morals or honesty in their lives?
    They are all the same, and yet there are still some people who think they are deserving of respect. Go figure!

  5. The BystanderMEMBER

    I’m shocked that a politician who made a mistake would lie about it – truly, I’d have never expected it from that calibre of public figure…/s

  6. Can we all just recognise the elephant in the room. The virus has been spreading in NZ for 100 days and nobody noticed.

  7. As I like to say, two weeks monastic isolation, the default option is an Aussie city pub. Oh, throw in a “diversity” measure too. What I don’t know, which private firm did security, in little old Perth? Anyone enlighten me/us?