‘You’re wrong’: Dan fires up at reporters

 

The Victorian Premier has apologised after snapping at a group of journalists who questioned his decision to put Melbourne's plans to reopen on hold.

After smashing its virus target, the city was due for news of easing coronavirus restrictions today - but Daniel Andrews told residents he had to hit "pause" on plans after a worrying outbreak in the northern suburbs.

Currently there are at least 1000 tests from the cluster that are pending results, which Mr Andrews said meant the city was currently "not in a position" to make decisions to reopen.

Following the announcement, the Premier was grilled by journalists, one of whom accused Mr Andrews of "dangling the carrot".

Mr Andrews bit back, refusing to answer certain questions and saying he "refused to accept" many of the comments.

After stressing the city was "well and truly on track" to reopen soon, citing Tuesday as the day he hoped to have good news, he apologised to waiting reporters for not making it clear earlier.

"I'm sorry if I have not been as clear as I tried to be, it was a very long night and a very early morning," the Premier said.

Melbourne has been in under harsh lockdown restrictions for months – but the Victorian Premier has just hit ‘pause’ on plans to reopen the city. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray
Melbourne has been in under harsh lockdown restrictions for months – but the Victorian Premier has just hit ‘pause’ on plans to reopen the city. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray

Tensions first arose when Sky News reporter Gabriella Power told the Premier "everyone was expecting announcements" prompting Mr Andrews to bite back.

"If you are putting it to me that we should ignore the fact that there are thousands of swabs not yet processed at the labs, I am not going to do that. I will just not do that," he said.

Another journalist pushed ahead with the intense line of questioning, accusing Mr Andrews of "dangling a carrot to Victorians" - adding the blow of finding out there would be no news "felt like you've hit us with a stick".

In response, the Premier explained "nothing can be guaranteed" - but the journalists' questions persisted.

After refusing to respond to comments about his decision making - stating he had "nothing to say" - Mr Andrews lashed out again, this time at Rachel Baxendale from The Australian.

The reporter asked why Melbourne couldn't reopen when New South Wales - which on average are more than 10 daily cases - has been open for months.

"I don't accept the conclusions you are drawing at all," Mr Andrews said.

"This is a pause, nothing more than that and it is appropriate that we wait to get those results.

"The reason we have literally hundreds of people locked in homes at the moment is because of the work that contact tracers are doing, so I do not accept that criticism at all."

Daniel Andrews hit out at an accusation by a reporter that he had ‘dangled a carrot’. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Daniel Pockett
Daniel Andrews hit out at an accusation by a reporter that he had ‘dangled a carrot’. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Daniel Pockett


He went on to say it would have been "irresponsible" to give Melburnians false hope when there are thousands of pending test results the state needed in order to make a decision.

"That is not how this works," he said, adding he couldn't just "wing it".

The journalists continued to push, with one asking why it was taking so long for the results, adding there was little public confidence in the Victorian contact tracing system.

"No, no, no. This is - that is not a question, that's a statement. It is wrong. It's not a fact, it's wrong. It's absolutely wrong," Mr Andrews fired back.

Originally published as 'You're wrong': Dan fires up at reporters


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