Sky News Australia – Oct 9, 2020
Sky News host Peta Credlin says there has been an attempt to cover up the truth of who ordered the use of private security in the bungled hotel quarantine inquiry.
Ms Credlin has poured through fresh evidence today tendered to the hotel quarantine inquiry and has traced the decision to use private security back to Premier Daniel Andrews’ private office.
“There are further serious questions facing the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, his ministers and the Inquiry into Hotel Quarantine,” Ms Credlin said.
“At the heart of it, I believe there has been an attempt to cover up the truth in relation to fateful decision to use private security, instead of police and defence force personnel, to guard Melbourne’s quarantine hotels that the Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed in his media appearance again today, directly led to Victoria’s second wave and as proven by genomic testing, the deaths of almost 800 Victorians.”
Ms Credlin said evidence showed that there was no “creeping assumption” but a direct decision to use private security.
“There is no doubt a real decision was made here – and no creeping assumption – because again in the Victoria Police submission today and the former Commissioner’s earlier evidence, at 1.22 he tells his federal counterpart, Victoria Police won’t be running hotel quarantine security that instead, Victoria will use private security,” she said.
“Now here is what I believe it critically important and that until now, until tonight, has received very little scrutiny.
“At paragraph 34 of the Victoria Police closing submission, it says this, that at 1.19pm, so inside the critical six minute window where Graham Ashton goes from being uptight about the use of Victoria Police officers as hotel guards to telling this federal counterpart that it won’t be us, it will be private security and it’s a special deal set up by DPC.”
The message read: “At 1.19pm a staff member from the Premier’s Private Office (PPO) sent a text message to Mr Ada, Deputy Secretary (DPC) referring to security”.
Ms Credlin said the name of the staff member had been redacted from evidence but the revelations pose “serious questions for the Premier, his office and indeed the very conduct of Inquiry”.