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Crozier-Wakeling - Victorians are dying while Labor’s bureaucrats are fighting

Friday, 11 September 2020

Friday 11 September 2020

Victorians are dying while Labor’s bureaucrats are fighting

Revelations from the hotel quarantine inquiry have shone a light on the internal brawling for power inside the Andrews Labor Government.

It has been revealed that Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton was rolled by DHHS Deputy Secretary, Melissa Skilbeck who refused to appoint him as the State Controller for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The question remains, did Ms Skilbeck act on her own accord or was she acting on the direction of Labor’s Health Minister?

Victoria’s emergency health plans explicitly state that the Chief Health Officer should have been appointed as the State Controller for the pandemic.

The fact that the Chief Health Officer was sidelined from the State Controller role shows just how shambolic and chaotic the Andrews Labor Government’s response to the pandemic has been.

Instead of focussing on protecting the health and welfare of Victorians, Labor’s health bureaucrats are more interested in petty internal power struggles.

Daniel Andrews has referred to the pandemic as a “public health bushfire” but under his leadership, the experts in managing ‘health bushfires’ have been sidelined by highly paid pen pushers.

The experts in managing recent disasters should have also been engaged by the Andrews Labor Government to respond to the current “health bushfire.”

Why weren’t the safe, steady and experienced hands of those who guided Victoria through the bushfires early this year engaged to assist in Victoria’s COVID response?

Should Prof Sutton have been so busy conducting public media appearances that Ms Skilbeck lacked confidence in him to take on the role of State Controller?

The abject failure of the Andrews Labor Government’s handling of hotel quarantine and contact tracing would have benefited from the skills and knowledge of our emergency services who know how to respond in a crisis, under the importance of a chain of command and the importance of staff training and adequate resourcing.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier:

“Victorians are dying while Labor’s bureaucrats are waging internal power struggles.

“Why did Daniel Andrews not follow Victoria’s health emergency plan and appoint the Chief Health Officer to the critical role of State Controller?”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Nick Wakeling:

“Why didn’t Labor have the experts in managing natural disasters help fight this ‘health bushfire’?

“Instead of fighting for power, Labor’s bureaucrat should be focusing on protecting the lives and livelihoods of Victorians”