I watched the examination of Daniel Andrews the other day until I could bear it no longer. The major issue seemed to be who had decided to employ these private contractors rather than bring in the ADF. But that was not the right issue. The right issue is why was that decision made? And let us not kid ourselves. The decision was made by Daniel Andrews irrespective of who is being asked to take the wrap. As if he didn’t know what was going on. Is everyone an absolute idiot?
But that aside, the question of who is irrelevant. What demands explanation is why it was decided almost immediately to enforce the quarantine within Victoria using unqualified personnel who had to be trained from scratch.
It cannot be because they were a cheaper source of labour, since they cost an additional $18m whereas the ADF were being sponsored and funded by the Commonwealth.
It cannot be because these people had an expertise that would allow them to undertake these tasks with greater focus and with less potential for mistakes. We know that cannot be the case since we have heard from many of them about their lack of relevant skills and qualifications and their absence of training.
We also know it cannot be the case that they had a superior skill set since the virus – uniquely in Victoria – escaped from confinement and went onto to kill hundreds more while being contained everywhere else.
It cannot be because Daniel Andrews wanted to provide more money to his union colleagues by providing them with sinecures that would earn them a tonne of money for providing an essentially simple service, because the task wasn’t all that simple as it turned out. But the money they most surely did receive, lucky them, for taking on a job that was well beyond their capabilities.
So why were these completely unskilled union colleagues of the premier chosen to receive the millions for undertaking these tasks even though they were not even a favoured tenderer for the state and had no requisite skills?
It is obviously a very difficult question because not a single person seems to be able to come up with a plausible answer.
And for a closer look at the sequence of events, there is this: Who in the Andrews Labor Government had delegated authority to enter into a $30M non-contested contract?. There we find:
From lunchtime Friday afternoon, when Andrews specifically acknowledged the national cabinet agreement that the ADF would be engaged, until 0001 hours Sunday, 29 March – someone with the delegated authority to commit the state of Victoria to a $30M commitment approved a non-contestable, non-tendered contract with an unknown, untested and frankly dodgy company.
Sound like fertile ground for a motivated corruption commission?