Flat White

Fear is in the Melbourne air; not just of the virus, but of continuing incompetence by the Andrews government

4 August 2020

2:31 PM

4 August 2020

2:31 PM

Having lived in Melbourne all my life, I’m picking up that this Melbourne COVID-19 deep lockdown has induced fear. Fear is in the Melbourne air.

Yes, it’s fear of the virus. But it’s also fear of continuing incompetence by the Dan Andrews government. The incompetence has led to the Stage 4 lockdown. This is not a party political comment. Labor governments in Western Australia and Queensland have so far successfully and impressively contained the spread of Covid-19.

Instead, there’s something uniquely ugly about the Dan Andrews-led government we’ve seen to date.

  • It has the stench of double standards. One rule for some people. Another rule for others. “You can’t do x. BUT it’s okay if some do!!” This has resulted in confusion about what people can and cannot do. Perhaps the Stage 4 lockdown will be consistent?
  • Gross administrative incompetence.
    • The blame for the ‘sex in quarantine hotels’ scandal lies squarely at the government’s feet. Premier Andrews refused Australian Defence Force personnel oversight. Every other state welcomed the ADF. The virus surged out of the hotels.
    • Management of Covid-19 testing, reporting and tracing is compromised. There appears to be a confused bureaucracy. Just one example from last week. A business shut down due to one staff member testing positive. Other staff were refused testing by the health department, yet the doctors wanted to test the staff. What the hell?!
  • Blame everyone but yourself. ‘It’s not me’ Premier Andrews has constantly stated in press conferences reported by media. He’s blamed the federal government for aged care problems, families for whatever (?), workers for going to work, the private sector and young people amongst many others.


We feel compelled to jump into this ‘blame others’ game when the Premier directs blame towards self-employed people. Last week Premier Andrews again blamed what he called “the structural weakness in our economy … insecure work”. This included contractors (the self-employed). We reject that. The Premier’s own report on ‘insecure work’ shows it is a positive contributor to society. Here’s our summary of the report.

This is part of the Premier’s declared war on the self-employed we reported in mid-June. The Premier has an agenda to make self-employment illegal, to wreck the lives of self-employed people. This reflects the authoritarian approach under Dan Andrews. It’s ugly and induces well-founded fear in Melbourne and Victoria.

Is there now a change in attitude? Perhaps. In press conferences over the last two days, Premier Andrews has been more inclusive. He’s thanked the PM for assistance, including ADF help. We haven’t noticed as many ‘blame others’ statements. If that marks a change in attitude, we can only welcome it.

Ken Phillips is the executive director of Self-Employed Australia. This piece also appears on their website.

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