Daniel Andrews has been accused of deliberately moving his daily press conference an hour earlier to distract from an inquiry into the state’s hotel quarantine debacle.
On Monday and Tuesday this week the premier held his briefing at 10am, an hour before the usual time of 11am.
The inquiry into the quarantine scheme, which failed to contain the virus and sparked the state’s deadly second wave, begins at 10am each day with key witnesses being questioned.
Daniel Andrews (pictured) has been accused of deliberately moving his daily press conference an hour earlier to distract from an inquiry into the state’s hotel quarantine debacle
Opposition MP Matthew Guy also said Mr Andrews deliberately changed the timing of his briefing to take attention away from the inquiry
The Australian’s workplace editor Ewin Hannan described Mr Andrews’ change of timing of as a ‘crass attempt at media management to minimise attention’ on the inquiry.
Opposition MP Matthew Guy also claimed Mr Andrews deliberately changed the timing of his briefing to take attention away.
‘For Andrews and Labor, media spin always comes first – always. It’s all about the PR. And for Andrews, it’s all about him,’ he wrote.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the premier’s office for comment.
Chris Eccles, the premier’s right-hand man
Victoria’s second wave began in late May when hotel security guards and staff failed to adhere to social distancing requirements, caught the virus and spread it around Melbourne.
The Andrews government has been criticised for using private security guards instead of soldiers and police to run the quarantine scheme.
On Monday the inquiry heard from the man who runs the premier’s office, Chris Eccles, who said he did not know who made the decision to use private security instead of ADF troops to enforce the quarantine.
The inquiry heard that Mr Eccles was offered ADF support from Canberra but he could not remember if he told the premier, or anyone else, about the offer.
Daniel Andrews has denied that hundreds of troops were offered.
On Tuesday the inquiry heard from the head of the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and the boss of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Victoria has had three coronavirus deaths, while new cases jumped on Tuesday to 28.
The latest fatalities take the state toll to 766 and the national figure to 854.
The news cases are a significant spike on Monday’s 11, the lowest Victorian figure since June 16.
But the crucial 14-day rolling average of new cases for Melbourne continues to fall to 32.8, while it is holding at 1.6 for regional areas.
Cases with an unknown source from September 6-19 are 45 for Melbourne and none for regional Victoria.
Mr Andrews encouraged anyone with a scratchy throat, runny nose or headache to get tested for the virus. Pictured: Melbourne residents on Saturday
There was some good news for Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday, with a Newspoll showing a majority of Victorian voters back his handling of the state’s second wave.
Nearly two-thirds of Australian voters also also rate the state’s restrictions as “about right”.
The poll for The Australian shows 62 per cent of Victorian voters agree the premier has managed the crisis well despite the hotel quarantine bungle that unleashed the second outbreak.
Thirty-five per cent of Victorians thought Mr Andrews handled the pandemic badly.
Opposition MPs want restrictions relaxed faster as the lockdown threatens to put up to 400,000 Victorians out of work by Christmas. Pictured: A Melbourne park on Saturday