Daniel Andrews and his ministers have been hiding behind the Coate Hotel Quarantine Inquiry to avoid revealing the facts about this public policy disaster.
It’s important that a range of voices are at the Inquiry table to test the answers provided and to ensure that it isn’t an internal government review.
Similar to the Royal Commission into the Tricontinental Group of Companies, where the then Liberal Opposition was granted leave to appear, and the Longford Royal Commission where then Opposition Leader, John Brumby, was granted leave to appear; Michael O’Brien as Leader of the Opposition has sought leave to appear at the Coate Inquiry, in the public interest to present a non-government external voice to ensure every day Victorians have a seat at the Inquiry.
Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Edward O’Donohue:
“With the Andrews Labor Government dodging scrutiny and Health Minister Jenny Mikakos arrogantly refusing to answer simple questions in Parliament about the Hotel Quarantine fiasco, it’s critical that the Coate Inquiry is presented with all the facts about how this program was completely botched.
“While the Andrews Labor Government is spending millions on lawyers to protect itself, it’s vital that an external and alternative perspective is at the table and can be heard. With lives lost, the economy ruined and unprecedented restrictions on personal freedom, Victorians deserve the truth about how this went so wrong.
“The Hotel Quarantine Program is the largest public policy failure in Victoria’s history and anything less than full transparency and accountability will be seen by the community as a whitewash.
“The decision whether to grant leave to appear is a test for the Inquiry and will determine whether everyday Victorians, who are suffering so much, have a seat at the table.”