Dan Andrews lied: ADF troops were offered for hotel quarantine

During last month’s parliamentary inquiry, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews explicitly denied that Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were offered for use in the state’s hotel quarantine program:

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”.

This came despite Andrews advising in March (here and here) that he would use ADF personnel to conduct hotel quarantine.

Shortly after Andrews’ testimony, Australian Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds, issued a strongly worded press released stating that ADF personnel were offered but rejected by the Victorian Government.

Then a senior ADF official gave testimony stating that the offer of hundreds of military personnel for quarantine was “made plain” to all states:

Lieutenant General John Frewen has now told the Senate’s COVID-19 committee that similar offers of support were made to all states and territories after the Prime Minister’s announcement on March 27.

He said it was “made plain” that ADF help “would be made available to all the states and territories to help with whatever arrangements were put in place for quarantine and quarantine enforcement”.

“The offers to the states and territories were the same,” he said.

NSW and Queensland took up the offer of ADF help for hotel quarantine, with about 360 and 100 personnel deployed respectively. There were 100 on standby for Victoria if they required it…

The inquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine program yesterday revealed that the Victorian Government was offered the use of ADF personnel on 8 April. This was more than a month before quarantine breaches resulted in the state’s second wave of COVID-19 infections. The offer was made in an email from Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet secretary Phil Gaetjens to Chris Eccles, his counterpart in the office of Premier Daniel Andrews:

Once again, Dan Andrews has been loose with the truth.

Isn’t the punishment for misleading parliament forced resignation?

Unconventional Economist


  1. I recall a senior official of the ADF coming out and explicitly stating that the ADF offer of involvement was only for the planning stages and that the ADF were not offered in a physical capacity – which makes sense on a national security basis. If the countries armed forces all get sick at the same time, they are not much of a defence.

    I’ll see if I can find the ADF statement.

    • Funny how there was a recent case of security guards on quarantine duty in NSW caught COVID and guess what, they were private guards…. not Police, Not ADF….

      The smoking gun in this is a letter with no date on it with “official: sensitive” that refers to an “in-kind” provision of ADF to NSW and a statement that the commonwealth would consider offering the same…. and no proof the “offer” was passed on to the Premier… Not that I would doubt it was, just no proof.

      Hardly a statement of “We can give you ADF members to guard your quarantine”. Almost the same as saying “we might be able to let you drive one of ours” being considered “a firm offer to ” let him drive one of the ADF tanks and shoot the protesters….”

      Plenty of screw ups in this whole COVID mess and hindsight is the only place you get true 2020 vision…..

  2. Levy on over 70's super to pay for COVID

    ADF officials could be just covering their arses too.

    If all involved treated this as the national security issue that it was, the military would have been deployed to for bio-security rather than untrained cash in hand warm bodies.

      • Levy on over 70's super to pay for COVID

        I’d like to think that the military has a plan ready for when a deadly pandemic hits.

        If they can’t handle biosecurity then what happen when Chinese ships start sailing into our waters.

      • The reality is the ADF were more ikely to follow the rules and guidelines….. no Guarantees, just more likely.

        • The truly frightening thing I’ve experienced is that I’ve stridently advocated for evidence based medicine and rational thinking, yet I’ve been savaged by the myopic #DanWithNoPlan supporters. You can keep putting the evidence under their noses but they are blinkered. Critical thinking is dead in Victoria. The KoolAid flows freely.

    • The only reason a LNP government would have done any better is because the Federal LNP and media would have ganged up on QLD and left VIC alone, like they did with NSW and the Ruby Princess.

      • Here’s another good example of whataboutism

        Dan Andrews is inept and corrupt.

        He then lied about it to a formal inquiry, in an attempt to hide his ineptitude and corruption

        That’s all that really needs to be said

        It’s not the media’s fault
        It’s not Scomo’s fault

        It’s Dan’s fault

        Don’t be a blue team-red team partisan moron

          • TheLambKingMEMBER

            Leith, why is any State politician looking after quarantining? This is a federal responsibility!

            You are calling us apologists. But we are just realists. The guy had 36 hours to get a system working because ScoMo didn’t want to quarantine.

            Did he make mistakes? Yep. Is he corrupt? No. Get over it. You look like you are auditioning for a gig hosting a late night Sky show!

        • You called me a moron so I will just take your superior assertions that he is corrupt and incompetent, unlike the rest of the political class…. You must be right because you said so and thats the only proof anyone should need… Just like all your opinions about how COVID was only as bad as the FLU. Didnt realise you were en expert in epidemiology AND political corruption, How come your not running the Government response…

          I am not a Blue vs Red person politically, I vote independent and have done my whole voting life, but I also recognise that nothing in the political spectrum will improve unless ALL politician are held accountable for their mistakes, and not just the ones certain people dislike. We have a Federal gov throwing billions at friends, propping up the fossil fuel industry, pushing immigration through the roof ( at least trying to… ) to prop up housing while owning investment properties….. Throwing $80M into their own companies for water that doesnt even exist… But lets call the ALP premier corrupt….

          BUT We also need to be reasonable about mistakes… If being incompetent was a good enough reason to have ministers drawn and quartered then we would have no one left in parliament at state or federal level.

          Do I think things could have been done better, Sure…
          Do I think the ADF should have been more involved, Sure….
          Do I think escape out of Quarantine was going to happen, Sure….
          Do I think any other leader would have done any better, Nope…

          LNP are too aligned with the media and as corrupt as any 3rd world dictator. The ALP are too focused on stupid policies and aligning themselves with overseas political organisations and probably as corrupt as well. I remember working on a project for someone inside a NSW state government department. He was proud of the fact the BBQ he held was attended by Eddie Obeid and listed key people from both ALP and LNP as attendees….

          • Actually covid did turn out to be like a bad flu , which is what I suggested

            IFR 0.2-3% vs 0.1%

            And I was pretty much correct about everything

          • Only because you ignore the fact that the flu has that R number normally without any reasonable measures to combat its spread and COVID has had the most stringent measures since the Spanish flu imposed to get the results we have. Your not even comparing things equally.

            The R number for COVID has not actually confirmed anywhere yet I have been seen, apart from the rantings of Proponents of the “Open her up and let her rip” policy.

          • His argument is a nonsense, like most of the panic merchants on this website

            The swedish R value was less than 1.0, with no lockdown

            Which was somehow LOWER than in countries with brutally oppressive lockdowns

            And the mortality of COVID patients who are admitted to ICU is sky high anyway
            So hard to understand how a higher R value would have substantially changed the mortality rate

          • Sure Sweden didnt have a “lockdown” like here, but if you think the general population went about business as usual, did no handwashing, no social distancing then your an idiot.

            My best friends Son just got back from an student exchange with Sweden in January, He still keeps contact with the host families and they said it was still pretty quiet, lots of people stopped going out, everyone did the hand sanitiser, social distancing etc.

            There is a reason their economy has had a GDP hit greater then other nordic countries, and it was because the country did take on measures. For example Education closures in Sweden

            There many examples of people under 30 still engaging in mass gatherings, but that does not mean that was the norm.

            CFR in Sweden is currently 6.8%, peaked at 13.9% on April 21, Cant find any reference to the R value experienced in Sweden but based on the data I have found it would be surprising to be less than 1. Considering to work out the R value you would need to do accurate contract tracing on ALL infected over a fairly long period….

            Epidemiologists calculate R0 using individual-level contact tracing data obtained at the onset of the epidemic. Once an individual is diagnosed, his/her contacts are traced and tested. R0 is then computed by averaging over the number of secondary cases of many diagnosed individuals. This approach is based upon the definition of R0, but it does not ensure that the calculated R0 is also an epidemic threshold parameter.

            The R value for a virus requires a lot of data to be calculated and contact tracing to be done to even estimate it. The reasons why they have R values for Flu is the many years of data during periods that have not run them off their feet so contact tracing is easier. They wont know the true R value of COVID for a long time. Considering sweden has has 86K cases and you have to contact trace each one which could be 40 or 50 people per day per person its hard to see them doing it.

            Sure you only need to do a sample, but when they contact trace they test… when they test positive they isolate them… this effect s the R value as it prevents more exposure. so even if they did achieve an R value of 1 its only because they acted differently to the with the normal flu.
            Yes, restricting people from making contact reduces the number of people they can infect which effect the infection rate. Who would have thought…

            Calling me a panic merchant does not make your arguments stronger….

          • Swedish speaker here. I have mates in Stockholm (and Oslo), I read the news in Swedish, I have followed *precisely* the advice of Tegnell and Giesecke.

            There’s some trope that Australians could never be trusted to follow the rules like Swedes did. But if you consider that the health advice was frank and sensible to begin with and didn’t involve some overly paternalistic or authoritarian/punative approach then there’s nothing to suggest Australians would not have played along with no complaint.

            Instead there are plenty of us who don’t appreciate the Australian consensus because it is NOT EVIDENCE BASED! This does not a conspiracy theorist or RWNJ make.

            I keep pointing you all toward Prof Carl Heneghan (Oxford University). He has poked holes in the stats, explained why masks are bad policy, pointed out the need to do what is proven to work – wash your hands and social distance.

            Here’s a recent interview where you can basically sub in “Victoria”

        • These ALP groupies are contaminated. You cannot change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information. Even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still can not change their minds because they are brainwashed useful idiots.

  3. After his great job at not investigating the SportsRorts scandal, no-one would trust anything coming from the desk of Morrison syncophant Phil Gaetjens.

  4. I call bullshit, and not on Dan. Had the ADF been actually offering it would have x bodies at a few days notice. It is in the interest of the Feds to attack Dan for whatever they can. But I note federally they only have a plan for the politics not the pandemic. The one who should resign is obvious, taking potshots and sending out attacks dogs when his only job is to lead us together.