The Andrews Labor Government still has serious questions to answer over why it didn’t act earlier on Crown Casino.

Under questioning by the Liberals and Nationals in Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) today, Department of Justice and Community Safety Secretary Rebecca Falkingham was ducking for cover.

Asked why the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) did not investigate the issues raised by the Bergin Inquiry, Ms Falkingham stated that “during my time as secretary those issues have never been raised with me either by the Chairman or the board CEO”.

Pressed about leaked security footage from Crown, which allegedly showed bricks of $50 and $100 notes being taken from a shopping bag and handed over in a high rollers room in 2019, Ms Falkingham bizarrely claimed she had no responsibility for the Victorian regulator.

“Those questions are best directed towards the Chair of the VCGLR or the CEO … we get regular assurances from the VCGLR to ensure that appropriate actions are being taken in regards to their regulatory processes”.

When asked by PAEC member Danny O’Brien whether the Department would do more than simply taking assurances, Ms Falkingham refused to answer, claiming the upcoming Royal Commission prevented her from discussing the matter.

Comments attributable to Shadow Gaming Minister and The Nationals Deputy Leader Steph Ryan

“It’s clear Daniel Andrews and his senior Ministers and bureaucrats are still ducking for cover when they should be facing up to the truth.”

“The Royal Commission must not become a scapegoat for the Andrews Labor Government avoiding taking action on the serious allegations uncovered by the New South Wales Inquiry.

“We know the Labor Party has very deep links to Crown and Daniel Andrews has done everything that he can to sweep this under the rug and turn a blind eye.”