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‘I realise Everybody wants to point the finger at Somebody but it was Anybody’s guess how these decisions were made and the fact is that Nobody knew’

26 September 2020

12:26 PM

26 September 2020

12:26 PM

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has insisted that Nobody made the decision to hire private security guards used in the state’s quarantine hotels.

In his appearance on Friday afternoon at the inquiry into the Government’s bungled quarantine system, Mr Andrews insisted that Everybody knew Nobody was responsible.

“It was definitely Nobody’s fault. Everybody knew that” he said. “Ask Anybody.”

His testimony appeared to contradict evidence from Everybody to the inquiry that Somebody in the Premier’s office made the decision that led to Melbourne’s deadly coronavirus second wave.

Mr Andrews showed the inquiry a text message from Somebody in his office asking Everybody if Anybody knew how the quarantine would be enforced.

“Nobody replied to the text because Nobody knew,” he said. “This proves that Nobody was to blame.”

Counsel assisting the inquiry Rachel Ellyard told Mr Andrews: “It’s hard to believe that Nobody could have known what was going on. Somebody must have made the decision to use security guards rather than police or army personnel.”

Mr Andrews replied: “I realise Everybody wants to point the finger at Somebody in my office but it was Anybody’s guess how these operational decisions were made. And the fact is that Nobody knew.”

Ms Ellyard pressed the matter, insisting: “Anybody would assume Somebody from your staff must have signed off on the decision.”

A clearly agitated Mr Andrews told her: “Anybody can make allegations against Somebody but Nobody wins when that happens.

“I think it’s fair to say that Everybody assumed Somebody made the decision to employ private security contractors. I don’t think that’s Anybody’s fault. Nobody can be blamed for that.”

Ms Ellyard put it to the Premier that hotel quarantine was entirely too important to be left to private contractors.

“Given what’s at stake, given the seriousness of the virus, Ms Ellyard, I think Everybody could agree that’s a fair statement, yes,” Mr Andrews said. “Anybody could see that.”

Ms Ellyard then asked the Premier if he could explain how it all went so wrong

“I know Everybody believes Somebody should be held accountable,” he said.

“The simple fact is that Everybody thought Somebody would take responsibility and Anybody could have, but Nobody did.”

Ms Ellard asked: “Are you saying Nobody is responsible for this whole fiasco?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” Mr Andrews said.

“I’m not Nobody, I’m the Premier. And like Everybody, I find these mistakes unacceptable. I’m Somebody who is as sorry as Anybody about this.

“I want to say to you, Madame Chair, I await your final report so we can better understand what I have just said and so I, as leader of the government, can take appropriate action against Nobody.”

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