Health Minister Martin Foley and the Victorian Department of Health have blocked key information and documents relating to the closure of iCook Foods, after an ongoing Freedom of Information (FOI) battle for the past 18 months.
The Liberal Nationals lodged two FOI requests in March 2020 seeking the truth as to what the then Minister for Health, Chief Health Officer and Health Secretary knew about the closure of iCook Foods.
18 months later and after ongoing delays by the Department, the matter has been referred to VCAT for a special hearing.
A Parliamentary Inquiry into the Closure of iCook Foods last year found systemic failings by a number of parties, including several by the City of Greater Dandenong. This Inquiry has now been reopened with hearings starting next week following claims of witnesses misleading the Inquiry.
Furthermore, Victoria Police has reopened its criminal investigation into this matter after Victoria Police’s Chief Commissioner intervened.
With so many ongoing investigations and serious questions remaining unanswered about the role the Andrews Labor Government played in the closure of iCook Foods, it’s clear Daniel Andrews is guilty of dodging accountability and hiding the truth from everyday Victorians.
It’s time the Andrews Labor Government stopped the cover-up and started being honest with Victorians.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier:
“Victorians expect and deserve the Andrews Labor Government and departments to act transparently, lawfully and in the best interest of all Victorians. With so many serious allegations outstanding in relation to the closure of iCook Foods, it’s alarming that the government continues to delay the release of key documents.
“The Andrews Labor Government continues to avoid accountability and operate in the shadows. FOI requests are an important part of transparent and accountable government, and to refuse to respond in a timely manner just goes to show the contempt the Andrews Government has for Victorians.”