Daniel Andrews criticises ‘cheap politics’ as no-confidence motion against him is defeated


The Victorian Opposition Leader has labelled Premier Daniel Andrews “dangerous and arrogant” during a failed bid to oust him from office with a no-confidence motion in Parliament.Key points:A no-confidence motion brought against Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been easily defeated in State ParliamentVictorian Opposition leader Michael O’Brien brought the motion forward and labelled the Andrews Government “a danger to Victorians”Mr O’Brien accused the Government of a “litany of lies” during a scathing speechMichael O’Brien’s move was labelled a “stunt” by Mr Andrews, and was easily defeated 44-23 during a marathon sitting of Parliament that stretched to 9:00pm.The Opposition can only introduce one no–confidence motion of this kind in a parliamentary term, and it was doomed to fail due to Labor’s strong majority in the Lower House.But before the motion, Mr O’Brien said there were a number of Labor MPs frustrated with how the Premier was operating, and he called on them to cross the floor.”It’s quite clear that a lot of Labor MPs are privately very, very critical of the Government,” he said.”The question is — are they prepared to put their money where their mouth is? Are they prepared to put their vote where the interests of Victorians are?”When introducing the motion, Mr O’Brien delivered a scathing speech, describing the Government as “arrogant and incompetent” and “a danger to Victorians”.”It gives me no joy to move this motion of no confidence of Premier Daniel Andrews and his ministers,” Mr O’Brien told Parliament. “But today in Victoria, circumstances are far from usual.”Catch up on the main COVID-19 news from October 13 with our coronavirus blog.Michael O’Brien hits out at ‘cavalcade of cover-ups’Mr O’Brien said the Premier’s handling of hotel quarantine and the subsequent second wave had been a failure, which had let the state down “like no other government has done before”. Michael O’Brien said Victorians had been served up a “litany of lies”.(AAP: James Ross)”We are the live music capital, yet the music has stopped. We have the best dining in the nation, but restaurants and bars are closed.”This is the legacy of the Andrews Government’s mishandling of the response.”In the wake of the resignation of Mr Andrews’ top bureaucrat, Chris Eccles, Mr O’Brien called on the COVID-19 Hotel Inquiry to re-examine key witnesses.”Victorians want answers, and they demand answers because Victorians have been the ones to pay the price for this Government’s failure,” he said.”Have Victorians seen the truth? No. They’ve had an avalanche of amnesia, a cavalcade of cover-ups and a litany of lies.”Mr O’Brien also said Mr Andrews had “taken [Victorians] for fools” after denying the Australian Defence Force was on offer to guard the quarantine hotels.In response to the motion, Deputy Premier James Merlino said Mr O’Brien had launched a “tasteless, heartless stunt”.”He’s not a man concerned by the health of Victorians — he’s a man obsessed with his own popularity within his own party,” Mr Merlino told Parliament.Earlier, Mr Andrews criticised the Opposition’s “cheap politics”.”I’m not concerned by it and I won’t be playing it because it doesn’t work against this virus,” he said.Commissioner could face more questions over changed evidenceVictorian emergency management commissioner Andrew Crisp is among senior public servants also under pressure from the Opposition.He could now be questioned before a parliamentary inquiry for a second time over his role in the state’s coronavirus response.There had been calls for Mr Crisp to be re-examined after he retracted evidence he gave at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearings on the Government’s COVID-19 response in August. Andrew Crisp changed evidence he gave about briefing the Emergency Services Minister.(ABC News: Sarah Maunder, file photo)In his testimony, he claimed he gave regular briefings to his direct minister, Lisa Neville, on March 27 and 28, when the hotel quarantine program was being established.Ms Neville contradicted his evidence when she told the separate independent COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry that she did not receive any briefings from Mr Crisp in the early stages of the program.Mr Crisp then altered his written statement to say he did not brief her on those dates.The committee now says it will extend its inquiry, which could mean Mr Crisp will be asked further questions about the change in evidence.”The additional hearings will enable the committee to get supplementary evidence relating to the response to this ongoing pandemic,” committee chair Lizzie Blandthorn said in a statement.”There will also be a further opportunity for written submissions to be presented that can assist the committee in examining the various aspects of the response.”The deadline for submissions to the PAEC inquiry has now been extended to November 30.What you need to know about coronavirus:

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