The Andrews Labor Government is bitterly fighting the release of secret documents and texts between Daniel Andrews and his Chief of Staff, Lissie Ratcliffe on hotel quarantine; especially surrounding the establishment of Labor’s hotel failed quarantine program.
The documents sought through Freedom of Information (FOI) include all text messages to and from Andrews and his Chief of Staff that were provided to the Coate Inquiry.
Release of these critical documents has been refused by Labor.
A VCAT Directions Hearing (Z132/2021) will be at 2:00pm today into the failure of the Andrews Labor Government to release in full Daniel Andrews and his Chief of Staff’s texts and emails regarding their failed hotel quarantine program and other documents.
It is the view of the Opposition that the Labor Government has inappropriately refused access to many of these documents, noting that of 18 documents identified, the government has provided partial access to five only.
Access to thirteen documents, including the Premier’s Coate Inquiry texts, has been “refused in full”.
The Victorian community will draw its own conclusions on belligerent refusal of the Andrews Labor Government to provide access to;
“all text messages sent from or received by the mobile phone provided by DPC for the use of the Premier and all text messages sent from or received by the mobile phone provided by DPC for the use of the Premier’s Chief of staff and all Slack messages to or from the Premier and all Slack messages to or from the Premier’s Chief of Staff that relate to hotel quarantine and particularly the establishment of hotel quarantine and all text messages to or from the Premier and all text messages to or from the Premiers Chief of Staff and all emails to or from the Premier and all emails to or from the Premiers Chief of Staff that were provided to the Coate Inquiry that relate to hotel quarantine and particularly the establishment of hotel quarantine.”
801 Victorians died as a direct consequence of the government’s mismanagement of hotel quarantine. It is hard to imagine an issue of greater public significance.
The FOI submitted in January has been delayed and fought by Labor all the way with the government still refusing to provide a full schedule of these documents and the exemptions claimed. These easily accessible FOI documents are of enormous public interest and concern.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, David Davis:
“The simple point is; why the secrecy, why the cover up?
“Didn’t we have enough of a cover up with the weak Coate Inquiry where no one was held responsible for the debacle of Victorian hotel quarantine; noting the memory lapses that became the norm, the creeping assumptions, the blame shifting and the finger pointing as well as the enormous legal fees generated.
“It’s time Andrews came clean. He could simply order the release of the documents tomorrow, including his texts and Lissie Ratcliffe’s texts.
“If Daniel Andrews has nothing to hide, he should have nothing to fear.”