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Sacked Victorian minister Adem Somyurek speaks out on Daniel Andrews' 8pm to 5am curfew for COVID-19

A former Victorian minister in Daniel Andrews’ government has claimed his former boss imposed a curfew because he doesn’t understand working class voters.

Adem Somyurek has spoken out for the first time since he was sacked in June as the minister for local government and small business, following a 60 Minutes expose on his alleged Labor branch stacking.

The Turkish-born former Right faction party powerbroker said Mr Andrews didn’t understand how working class people often went outside after dark – despite being the leader of the Labor Party.

‘To Andrews the curfew was a trifling thing: “Why would anyone want to go out after 8pm – you can’t go to Coles or a jog so what is the problem?” He could not understand the fuss,’ Mr Somyurek said in an opinion piece for The Australian.

A former Victorian minister in Daniel Andrews' government has claimed his former boss imposed a curfew because he doesn't understand working class voters. Pictured is South Yarra during the curfew

 A former Victorian minister in Daniel Andrews’ government has claimed his former boss imposed a curfew because he doesn’t understand working class voters. Pictured is South Yarra during the curfew

Adem Somyurek has spoken out for the first time since he was sacked in June as the minister for local government and small business, following a 60 Minutes expose on alleged Labor branch stacking. He is pictured outside his Melbourne house in June

Adem Somyurek has spoken out for the first time since he was sacked in June as the minister for local government and small business, following a 60 Minutes expose on alleged Labor branch stacking. He is pictured outside his Melbourne house in June

‘In Andrews’ world of middle-class suburban domestic bliss by 8pm everyone should be tucked up in bed.’

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 26,898

Victoria: 20,042

New South Wales: 4,200

Queensland: 1,152

Western Australia: 662

South Australia: 466

Tasmania: 230

Australian Capital Territory: 113

Northern Territory: 33

TOTAL CASES: 26,898

CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 903

DEATHS: 849

 Updated: 8.50 PM, 20 September, 2020

Melbourne’s five million residents have since August 2 been subjected to an 8pm to 5am curfew with fines of $1,652 if they are outside during those hours, in a bid to reduce active COVID-19 cases.

Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton earlier this month revealed the curfew wasn’t his idea while the state’s Police Commissioner Shane Patton admitted his force was only given a ‘couple of hours’ notice of the policy.

Mr Somyurek said Mr Andrews, after the hotel quarantining fiasco, became a more authoritarian leader who sidelined his ministers, including those with ‘intimate knowledge of their portfolios’.

‘Decision-making was centralised around the Premier, his private office and his department; department secretaries began reporting directly to the Premier as ministers were sidelined and the government began to operate in silos,’ Mr Somyurek said.

Mr Somyurek said Mr Andrews, who hails from Labor’s Left faction, had little regard for the economic cost of his Stage Four lockdowns.

‘The loss of civil rights and economic damage are just collateral damage,’ he said.

The Institute of Public Affairs, a free market think tank, estimated the Stage Four lockdowns would cost the Victorian economy $3.17billion a week.

By that calculation, six weeks of lockdown would cost the equivalent of Victoria’s $17.7billion annual commonwealth allocation from the Goods and Services Tax proceeds. 

The Turkish-born former Right-faction powerbroker said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) didn't understand how working class people often went outside after dark - despite being the leader of the Labor Party

The Turkish-born former Right-faction powerbroker said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) didn’t understand how working class people often went outside after dark – despite being the leader of the Labor Party

Mr Somyurek said Mr Andrews was an initially a consultative minister during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That changed in June after the decision to use private security firms to guard quarantine hotels resulted in new outbreaks of the virus in the city’s north and west.

This led to the Premier centralising power and decision-making in his office rather than debating the proposal Stage Four lockdowns with his cabinet ministers.   

Victoria’s 761 deaths from coronavirus comprise 89.63 per cent of Australia’s 849 fatalities.

The state’s 20,042 cases also make up almost three quarters, or 74.5 per cent, of the total national case numbers of 26,898. 

Mr Andrews’ Labor government won a landslide re-election victory in November 2018, picking up wealthy electorates in Melbourne’s south-east that had traditionally voted Liberal, including the seats of Burwood and Hawthorn previously held by Coalition premiers Jeff Kennett and Ted Baillieu.

Mr Somyurek said the Premier did not understand how anyone would want to go to Coles after 8pm. Pictured is a Coles supermarket at Chadstone in Melbourne's south-east

 Mr Somyurek said the Premier did not understand how anyone would want to go to Coles after 8pm. Pictured is a Coles supermarket at Chadstone in Melbourne’s south-east

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