We are only a matter of weeks into sittings of the 60th Victorian Parliament, yet Daniel Andrews and Labor are already tangling themselves in a web of issues surrounding dishonesty, transparency and accountability.
Victorians deserve a government that is accountable to the public and has their best interests at heart.
The Andrews Labor Government’s decisions are shrouded in secrecy, such as Minister Danny Pearson, who has hundreds of thousands of dollars in shares in a range of businesses and signed off on government contracts.
These decisions saw those businesses he has shares in awarded multi-million-dollar contracts with the Victorian Government.
It doesn’t pass the pub test and isn’t what Victorians expect of their elected representatives.
Despite repeated questioning from the media and in Parliament, Mr Pearson refuses to answer questions on this matter, instead burying his head in the sand and wait until things blow over.
But most Victorians know where there is smoke, there is fire.
The Andrews Labor Government also hasn’t been transparent when it comes to the North Richmond Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR).
While this issue likely isn’t at the top of regional Victorians’ minds, how the Government went about concluding the trial of the facility is again mired in secrecy.
Labor refused to talk about the North Richmond facility or the potential for a second injecting room in Melbourne’s CBD, on the iconic Degraves St, despite paying $40 million of your money for the building.
In the lead up to the November election, Labor was tight-lipped on the issue.
Only last week Mr Andrews let slip last week that the building was in fact earmarked as a second injecting facility.
This issue has been shrouded in secrecy, with two key reports – the Ryan report around the viability of the North Richmond facility, and the Lay report which reviews the best location for a second facility – yet to be seen in full by the public.
Despite this, Mr Andrews pushed on with his plans for the injecting rooms.
Labor sat on the Ryan report for months, finally releasing a summary which doesn’t include the full detail, but a major piece of the North Richmond MSIR puzzle was missing.
It also refused to include the location of the MSIR in the scope of the report as it knew it would be damaging – it is next door to a primary school.
Similarly, the report from ex-Police Commissioner Ken Lay – which examined the best location for a second injecting room – was disregarded as Labor already purchased the $40 million building in Melbourne’s CBD.
Mr Lay delivered a report, and Daniel Andrews sent him back to the drawing board – likely because his findings didn’t match up with the Premier’s intentions, or justify the building he had already acquired.
That report was expected in 2020, the Government saw it in 2021 and sent Mr Lay back do deliver an updated report by mid-2023.
The Andrews Labor Government will likely continue to ignore the report – which is now three years late – again, burying its head in the sand and waiting for things to blow over.
Finally, we come to the issue of the outgoing Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption (IBAC) Commissioner.
By the looks of it, this commission is being used as a political tool.
During a Parliamentary Inquiry last year, assessing the level of corruption in the Andrews Labor Government, just as an inconvenient truth was about to be mentioned, Labor Minister Harriet Shing cut the feed so no one could hear the truth.
Additionally, the outgoing Commissioner wrote a scathing letter to the Parliament outlining the Victorian Labor Party was looking for dirt to discredit the integrity body and starve it of funding.
There has also been the stacking of overview committees with friendly Labor politicians and leaking of critical information.
Again, Labor refused to talk about it. Burying their head in the sand and wait for things to blow over.
You’d be forgiven for thinking these are long-term issues, this is just the past few months.
This does not even touch on all the integrity issues that we know about, and are still yet to be made public.
There are 35 corruption investigations underway, with a handful going directly to the Premier’s office.
However, Labor bury their head in the sand and wait for it to blow over while taking you and your vote for granted, treating Victoria as their own private clubhouse.