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Writing on the wall?

By David Southwell - posted Tuesday, 12 October 2021

The Age identified more than 30 senior public seve acted as advisers to the Andrews Government.

The paper described them as: "Career political operatives and Labor loyalists inserted into the public service in decision-making jobs."

Under Labor's union-friendly OH&S laws there is a strong case for ministers to be held personally responsible for industrial scale manslaughter over the failed quarantine.


However, with the number of Labor appointees to WorkSafe this was never going to happen, and the agency is only seeking to fine the DHHS.

The Coate Inquiry in hotel quarantine somehow managed to conclude that "no one had made decisions" about quarantine, after its curiously incurious proceedings were repeatedly met with a wall of amnesia.

As an exercise in "failing to recall" it was an expensive one.

The government reportedly spent twice the amount on private lawyers to shore up the testimony and evidence given by ministers and bureaucrats than it did on the "fact-finding" inquiry.

Sadly, it is not the government's lack of accountability or the politicisation of the public service that emerge as the worst characteristics of Labor's handling of Covid, despite those things contributing to the government's terrible record.

Much more serious has been the trampling of fundamental tenets of liberal Western democracy.


Victoria has been under emergency powers since March last year, twice as long as Burma under military rule.

In its general guidelines on such powers the UN states they "should be time-bound and only exercised on a temporary basis with the aim to restore a state of normalcy as soon as possible".

While Victoria's state of emergency is due to end in December the Government is believed to be trying to find a work-around to keep them basically in place.

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About the Author

David Southwell is a writer and editor living in Melbourne.

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