Statement on the departure of Chris Eccles from the Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien

Daniel Andrews has thrown a second senior member of his team under the bus with Chris Eccles resigning this morning.

While phone records prove Eccles called then Chief Commissioner of Police Graham Ashton, it does not answer the question every Victorian deserves to know the answer to: who made the decision to refuse ADF support in hotel quarantine and instead use untrained private security, which created Victoria’s second wave?

Victoria is the only state in the country to have a second wave caused by a botched Labor Government hotel quarantine program, with 791 lives lost, hundreds of thousands of jobs gone and millions of Victorians under harsh lockdowns.  

Eccles’ departure follows Health Minister Jenny Mikakos’ resignation last month after Andrews told the inquiry that she had responsibility of hotel quarantine.

One thing is certain – when Andrews is under pressure he’ll throw those close to him under a bus to try to save himself.  

In his resignation statement Eccles, Andrews’ right hand man, stated “I am absolutely certain I did not convey to Mr Ashton any decision regarding the use of private security.”

So if Eccles did not make the decision, who did?

The Premier has said he takes ultimate responsibility for the decisions of his government, but he is yet to accept any responsibility for the greatest public policy failure in our country’s history.  How can any government learn from its mistakes and improve, when it refuses to be accountable?  Daniel Andrews is more preoccupied with escaping blame than actually doing his job and leading Victorians. It’s no wonder contact tracing and PPE issues are still rife.  

While Daniel Andrews blames Victorians for the second wave on his stage at the daily press conferences, the arm wrestling behind the scenes is ramping up with ministers Jill Hennessy, Jacinta Allan and Martin Pakula all ready for when Andrews is forced out. Victorians have no confidence in this arrogant Andrews Labor Government which keeps making the same mistakes and putting more lives at risk. They are sick of the lack of accountability and cover-ups.

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