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Friday, September 18, 2020

Victoria’s opposition leader is set to make bid to oust Dan Andrews over his handling over COVID-19

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Daniel Andrews’ days as Victorian premier could be numbered, with a motion of no  confidence likely to be tabled against him in a matter of days.   

State Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien is set to make the proposal on Thursday, arguing the Andrews government had lost the support of Victorians over its handling of COVID-19.

He said failures in the hotel quarantine system and contract tracing measures led to the state’s horror second wave and the subsequent return to lockdown.

Lower house MPs will vote on the motion next month, which would then have eight days to be passed by the assembly if successful. 

Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien (pictured) will introduce a motion of no confidence against the Andrews government in Parliament on Thursday

Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien (pictured) will introduce a motion of no confidence against the Andrews government in Parliament on Thursday

‘Victoria deserves the chance for a fresh start,’ Mr O’Brien said, the Herald Sun reported.

‘Every Labor MP will have to decide whether they will vote to protect the jobs of their communities or the job of the premier.

‘A no-confidence motion is not a decision made lightly, but increasingly frustrated Victorians are telling us loud and clear that Andrews must go.’  

A motion of no confidence is a statement or vote as to whether or not the ruling party is still fit to hold office, with the opposition only permitted to present one per parliamentary term.  

However, the motion is unlikely to pass as the House of Representatives has an 11-seat Labor majority.    

News of the attempt to oust Victoria's Premier comes as he faces heat over a contradicting account provided at an inquiry into the state's second wave of COVID-19

News of the attempt to oust Victoria’s Premier comes as he faces heat over a contradicting account provided at an inquiry into the state’s second wave of COVID-19 

The Andrews government has been plagued by criticism over a series of controversies that have been attributed to the second outbreak in Victoria. 

The contagion was traced back to the breaches in hotel quarantine, with claims security guards from private contracting firms failed to enforce COVID-19 safety rules – with some allegedly having sex with returned travellers.  

Premier Andrews was slammed for outsourcing guards rather than using the ADF, with him later telling an inquiry into the fiasco that he was never given the offer.     

On Tuesday, emails presented to the inquiry contradicted his statements, revealing the Prime Minister’s office had written three letters offering the defence force but none were accepted. 

The next state election will take place in 2022. 

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