4 August 2020


Tim Quilty appalled at Health Minister's dismissive deflection of COVID-19 questions

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has expressed his disgust at the way Health Minister Jenny Mikakos responded to questions in Parliament today.

Ms Mikakos, who sits in the same Legislative Council as Mr Quilty, was asked a string of questions by numerous Members of Parliament and gave the same dismissive answer: “I will be providing a written response to (the Member’s question) by tomorrow.”

“This is an appalling and sneeringly cynical way to answer genuine questions about the way her department has conducted itself during the COVID-19 crisis,” Mr Quilty said.

“Every time Ms Mikakos rattled off the exact same response to questions on health data, health funding, contact tracing and the handling of this outbreak, we could see how the Andrews Government holds this entire State in utter contempt.

“Ms Mikakos clearly had no intention of answering any questions in the Chamber and hid behind the rules of Parliament to avoid speaking on any topic relating to the coronavirus.”

Mr Quilty said the Health Minister’s dismissal of any legitimate questions illustrated why her Government was so keen for the Legislative Council not to sit.

“It’s clear as day why the Andrews Government wanted the suspension of Parliament entirely: they want to cover up their bungling and not be called to account for their actions,” Mr Quilty said.

“I am aware that the attendance in Parliament of the Members here today has attracted much debate about the risks not only to ourselves but to our home communities as well.

“Having seen the behaviour of the Health Minister, I am convinced that we made the correct decision to sit today.”

Mr Quilty emphasised how questions from MPs keep Premier Daniel Andrews and his Cabinet accountable.

“During this health crisis, it is crucial that the Victorian Government explains and justifies its decisions which have had such a catastrophic impact on all Victorians,” Mr Quilty said.

“It is clear that things have gone wrong, otherwise we would not be seeing so many cases of COVID-19 in Melbourne and the resulting lockdowns which are causing havoc across Victoria.

“That is why it is so disappointing to see Minister Mikakos duck and weave her way past a series of legitimate questions.

“But she will ultimately have to provide her written responses, which should make for some interesting reading.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819