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Coate Inquiry budget tripled by Andrews’ legal fees and still no closer to the truth

The Andrews Labor Government’s legal fees have cost more than three times the amount of the actual inquiry that was set up to find out who signed off on untrained security guards manning hotel quarantine and what went so terribly wrong.

A total of more than $15 million in legal fees – more than three times the $4.8 million Coate Inquiry – has been spent across several government departments and agencies, including:

  • Department of Justice and Community Safety – $2.1 million
  • Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions – $3.7 million
  • Department of Health and Human Services – $6.25 million
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet – $1.01 million
  • Department of Treasury and Finance – $446,000
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning – $899,300
  • Victoria Police – $892,000

Furthermore, the legal bills for several Ministers at the centre of Labor’s catastrophic hotel quarantine program remain unknown as Premier Andrews and Ministers Pakula and Neville and former Minister Jenny Mikakos, refuse to release this information.  

Despite more than $20 million being spent, Victorians are still no closer to knowing who was responsible for the failed program that seeded Victoria’s devastating second wave, caused over 800 deaths and immeasurable social harms.

Only the Victorian Liberal Nationals will hold a Royal Commission into Labor’s botched hotel quarantine program hold those responsible to account and finally give Victorians the clear answers they deserve.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Crime Prevention, David Southwick:

“This is one of the biggest and most expensive cover ups Victorians have seen, with almost three times as much taxpayer funds spent defending the Andrews Government than was given to finding to truth.

“With every department, Minister and agency lawyering up against one other – how can Victorians trust a government that clearly doesn’t trust itself?

“Despite tens of millions of taxpayer dollars spent, Daniel Andrews continues to hide the truth and leave Victorians none the wiser as to who ordered private security in hotel quarantine.”

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