Oct 19, 2020
Dan Andrews October 19 COVID-19 Press Conference
Premier of Victoria Dan Andrews held an October 19 press conference with coronavirus updates. Read the full transcript of the news conference here.
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Daniel Andrews: (00:00)
… 22 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria, that’s one new case since yesterday. That one new case previously tested positive, and there’s further investigation underway as to determine whether that is in fact an active case or whether that person is simply shedding the virus relative to their earlier infection. There was also a case reported last night, that is a Victorian resident, but they are quarantining inter-state after returning from overseas, they are, therefore, not a notifiable case in Victoria. And that explains, I think, the earlier tweet this morning of, two is really one, and the one might not necessarily be an infectious person or an active case. That’s a matter for that expert panel of doctors who look through those issues, as I think we’ve spoken to in recent days.
Daniel Andrews: (00:51)
There are 11 Victorians in hospital, and none of those 11 are receiving intensive care. A total of 2,967, 085 test results have been received since the beginning of the year.
Daniel Andrews: (01:06)
That’s an increase of 11,936 tests since yesterday. Each of us, I think, are well aware that weekend numbers, so those reported on Monday and Tuesday can often be a fair bit lower than that. So we’re at about well over 20,000, I think, for the two days. And I want to thank each and every one of those almost 12,000 Victorians whose results are reported today, arguably, nothing more important. And I say it a lot, but I say it because it’s important. Get tested as soon as you register the symptoms. As soon as you begin to feel unwell, please go and get tested. Don’t wait an afternoon, don’t wait a day, don’t wait a weekend. Please go and get tested as soon as you possibly can. And we can protect you, your family, every family, and we can, in fact, open the place up. Knowing where the cases are is critical.
Daniel Andrews: (01:59)
Because it means we can stop the spread, and one or two stays at one or two, rather than 20 or 30 or more. And we have seen many outbreaks in recent times that have run. We’ve been able to pull them up, but the wildly infectious nature of this virus, I think, is well known and well understood to every single Victorian. There are 10 healthcare workers who are active cases. The rolling average to 19 October is Metro 6.4, regional 0.4. Unknown source cases are down by two. There are 13 in the period, the 14 days to 17 October. That case today, the one that may well be an instance of shedding the virus, a perfectly natural process, well after your original positive test, is in Melbourne and is in Brimbank, but we’ll update you as that expert panel looks into the details of that case throughout the day. Total active cases in regional Victoria, there are now just three, and those three are in greater Shepparton, so of the four that were in Mitchell Shire that we had [inaudible 00:03:10] more cases that we had reported quite consistently, they have now past their 14 day period, and are out of those numbers. So just three active cases in regional Victoria as at the 20th. Aged care… I’m sorry, active cases. They’ll be in the chief health officer release. We don’t believe there’s any significant change there. The data just wasn’t ready for us this morning. And that pretty much is the numbers of the day that I needed to confirm with you. I would just say that, when you look at these numbers, this could potentially be a day of zero, and it’s been a long time since we had a dial zero, and it’s a Testament to the hard work of every single Victorian in the city, in the suburbs, in regional communities, large and small, we are well-placed, this weekend, to be able to make very significant announcements about a further step to opening.
Daniel Andrews: (04:06)
We still have a few days, obviously, to run this week and things can change rapidly, but Victorians, I think, and particularly Melburnians, can be confident, can be absolutely optimistic that the strategy is working, that the slow and steady, and therefore, safe way in which way are easing out of these restrictions, is the only way we can do it. I’ve said many times, and I will make the point yet again and probably a few more times between now and when we take next steps, you can’t sprint to COVID normal. We have to get there gradually, steadily, safely. Otherwise, we do run the very real risk of giving back all that we have sacrificed, and undermining everything that we have built, which is a very low set of numbers. That is a credit to every single Victorian. We acknowledge the pine and the hurt and the challenge, it’s very real. But all of that has to be worth something.
Daniel Andrews: (04:59)
And that’s why this strategy is so important to stick to. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do. But two days into the week since we first announced those changes on Sunday, I think we’re well-placed to reach the point on the weekend where we can talk more and possibly bring forward some of those changes that were slated for November the first. That’s very good news. I would’ve thought, and hopefully, Victorians feel that real sense of pride in themselves, because I certainly feel it, a sense of pride in them, for everything that they have done, and I’m sure, will continue to do, to stay safe, and to stay open. That’s the most important thing for the coming weeks and months.
Daniel Andrews: (05:44)
Now we do know that there’s been… Safer Care Victoria has made some announcements in relation to a clinical error that was made sometime ago, very low risk, but you can’t take any risks with these things, you have to follow them up properly, and exactly what’s happened. To talk about that, as well as the progress we’ve made on suburban public health teams, now six, not the five we’d promise, but now six, I’ll throw it over to the health minister, and then of course, we’re happy to take any questions you have.
Health Minister: (06:15)
Thank you, Premier. So I wanted to update Victorians on two matters. Firstly, the expansion of local public health units in metropolitan Melbourne, and then secondly, the blood glucose work that Safer Care Victoria are undertaking, in relation to hotel quarantine residents. So expanding our local public health units in Melbourne metropolitan areas is all about staying ahead of the COVID-19 infections. As we safely and carefully return to a COVID normal, we know that it is essential, in fact, it’s fundamental, to make sure that we have in place the best tracing and managing of outbreaks system in place. And to have that able to respond quickly, to get ahead of outbreaks. Our regional and public health units have already successfully demonstrated how important that is in bringing local knowledge, local connections, and local work, whether it be GP’s, whether it be community health centers, whether it be local hospitals, councils, civic leadership, diverse groups, all into the conversation about what is particular to your location, to make sure that if there are outbreaks of COVID-19, as there will be in a suppression strategy as opposed to elimination strategy, that we move quickly.
Health Minister: (07:48)
So today, we can announce the final three public health units are being set up in metropolitan Melbourne, in addition to those already in place. And those will be at Melbourne health, Eastern Health, and Northern Health, taking the total in metropolitan Melbourne to six. Staff are undergoing training this week and will start taking cases thereafter. The management of rates and outbreaks, whether it be in Colac, whether it be in Kilmore, or whether it be in Shepparton, shows how important the engagement of those local public health area units are. The ability to bring together GP’s, primary health networks, local hospitals, civic leadership, together with the resources of the public health unit, have been critical in all of those examples. And today, these additional three units will join those already in place in metropolitan Melbourne for the Western public health unit, the North Eastern public health unit, and the South Eastern public health unit.
Health Minister: (08:58)
Together, these will make sure that we’re in a position to manage our public health response to COVID-19 in an even stronger and more community engaged way. This will deliver community support, community knowledge, and community involvement in staying ahead of the COVID 19 infections. It will make sure that we have the ability to build into the future around local public health needs, particularly, able to rapidly scale up responses in the need, should it occur, for future outbreaks. Since our six regional units were established in July, they’ve provided the model and the opportunity for our metropolitan units to build their capacity and their skills and their methods of operation. And now, we’ve seen how important they have been, particularly in recent weeks, across local government areas in our regions. I want to thank all of those hard working professionals, all of those participants in those local public health units, and more importantly, the communities that they’re a part of, because that is their strengths.
Health Minister: (10:13)
We will continue to look for new ways in which we can improve our testing, our tracking, and our isolation systems, so as to make sure that we save those valuable hours and minutes that are so critical in getting ahead of the outbreaks as they will, from time to time, continue to occur. And that will give Victorians the confidence they need to carefully, cautiously, and sustainably reopen and stay open. I also wanted to touch on the Safer Care Victoria work being undertaken with the Alfred Hospital, in relation to the blood glucose level work as a result of clinical errors that have been established in the hotel quarantine program. Safer Care Victoria have launched a review into the use of the blood glucose testing devices during the current team accommodation period in Victoria. A blood glucose level test is a finger prick test to get a drop of blood.
Health Minister: (11:22)
The device used had a test lancet, or needle, and a main body. The needles can be changed and were changed between use. The needles was not the issue. The device in question is designed for repeated use by one person, not one use by multiple persons. And that seems to be the clinical breakdown in this case. I need to stress that this is, according to all the clinical advice, a very, very low risk of cross-contamination, but out of an abundance of caution, Safer Care Victoria and the Alfred are doing precisely the right thing in a very risk averse way of seeking to contact all of the people involved. That involved going through 28,000 individual records of care that were provided to people involved in the quarantine hotel processes between March and late August, to establish, what was the potential range of which people with blood glucose level issues would have been identified. That work identified a potential 243 residents who are identified as having a finger prick test based on those health records.
Health Minister: (12:44)
As a result, the Alfred and Safer Care Victoria have established a dedicated contact line for anyone who has been involved in the hotel quarantine period, for any information and support. And that number is 1-800-356-061, and is open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, seven days a week, and has interpreter support services as a part of that. And in relation to the 243 residents who, potentially, may have been at risk from the use of that machine, understanding that the clinical advices overwhelmingly most people had their own blood glucose level treatment systems in place that did not require that. But out of the abundance of caution, those 243 people are being contacted directly. And I can update Victorians that, of that, so far, 141 people have been successfully contacted, and of that, 79 people have taken up the precautionary move of having their blood tests screened for further support. Of course, Safer Care Victoria oversees tens of millions of clinical points of interaction every year in our healthcare system, and failures like this incidence are something that is very regrettable, but that is the role of Safer Care Victoria.
Health Minister: (14:22)
I want to thank the Alfred for their work they have done in responding to that, and the thorough way in which they, together with Safer Care Victoria, have responded to this. I think, in what is clearly a clinical breakdown, that should give Victorians the confidence that the system is in place to identify and respond. I want to stress that all the advices is that this is a low risk issue, but a low risk is still a risk, and out of abundance of caution, the Alfred and Safer Care Victoria are taking every measure to make sure that those 243 residents are supported, given the opportunity for further screening, and if they need further support, of course, offered further support. So I’ll leave my comments there. Thank you.
Speaker 1: (15:11)
[inaudible 00:15:11], because somebody contracted something?
Health Minister: (15:14)
No, this was picked up because the Alfred’s professional nursing staff questioned the arrangements. There is no evidence of anyone picking up any bloodborne virus from this. And I stress that there is no prospect of coronavirus being shared by this. Coronavirus is not a bloodborne virus. It is a respiratory virus. So this was picked up by the Alfred’s proper clinical processes, come into bear, after an earlier clinical breakdown.
Speaker 2: (15:56)
Why did it take so long? It’s been a few months since we’ve had hotel quarantining.
Health Minister: (16:00)
So this issue was identified in late August. The Alfred then reported that to Safer Care Victoria, who, together with it’s staff and Alfred’s staff and the Department of Health and Human Service’s records, that, by the left electronic records and hard copy records, required 28,000 records to be carefully and methodically interrogated. That process had ended over the weekend, and Safer Care Victoria and the Alfred made their comments, publicly, straight after that yesterday. And that’s as it should be, in quickly responding to a clinical breakdown, as soon as they’ve got all the evidence in place, and all the systems in place to respond to it.
Speaker 2: (16:54)
Can you really say it was quick when it took two months for those records to be gone through?
Health Minister: (16:58)
I don’t think it was quite two months. As I understand, it was quite late in August, and then over the-
Health Minister: (17:03)
Two months. As I understand, it was quite late in August. And then over the course of September, the Alfred and Safer Care Victoria proceeded through all of those 28,000 records to rule out who was at, potentially, very low clinical risk. But nonetheless, any level of risk in these kinds of matters is unacceptable. And for the sake of an abundance of caution, Safer Care Victoria, quite rightly, together with the Alfred, is going through the processes today to contact all of those 243 quarantined hotel residences to give them the support they need.
Speaker 3: (17:42)
I have a question for the Premier.
Daniel Andrews: (17:43)
Speaker 3: (17:43)
You said this weekend that it looks like we are geared to wind back restrictions. What are the chances that we may be able to do that before the Grand Final?
Daniel Andrews: (17:51)
No. We’ve been very clear that we want to look at numbers as they unfold this week. We will all stand here on Sunday and hopefully be able to confirm for Victorians that when it comes to retail, pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars, as well as a number of other settings, that we can have what’s been termed a dark opening for, say, the first one or two days of next week. And then we can be up and running from then. It’s not appropriate for us to try and bring that forward. That is already essentially based on numbers, bringing things forward from the 1st of November. I know it’s very frustrating, but the passage of time is really important in this. The picture on any one day is not as complete as you would like. And there’s a number of reasons for that. This virus can be latent. What’s more, not everybody who’s got symptoms gets tested quite as quickly as they should. There are even some people who have symptoms and don’t get tested.
Daniel Andrews: (18:47)
We’ve got mystery cases, many of which, despite literally, hundreds of hours of really detailed detective work, we can’t establish how the person got it. All of those factors have to come into play. I know people want to come together and be together to watch the Grand Final. That is not possible this year. And if people try and do that, if people go and spend time at a friend’s place or family member’s place, then they potentially put at risk, everything that we’ve built. Ultimately, no one game of footy, no one barbecue, or dinner with friends is worth all that can be on offer in a COVID-safe summer and a COVID-safe and COVID-normal 2021. I know what the footy means, whether your team’s in the Grand Final or not. I know what that means, but it’s very important that we see this thing off properly. So Sunday will be a day where we can have more to say. I think if this trend continues throughout the week, and sadly, I can’t predict what tomorrow’s number will be, or Thursday or Friday, but if the trend holds up, then we are very well placed.
Speaker 3: (19:53)
[crosstalk 00:19:53] Premier, it feels a little bit like deja vu. Back on Mother’s Day, there was the wait until the day after for some restrictions to be eased. We saw a lot of people ignore the rules blatantly and just do what they like for Mother’s Day. Do you feel that the same will happen again for the Grand Final?
Daniel Andrews: (20:08)
I’m not sure how people behaved on Mother’s Day. Some people will draw a conclusion like that. I think that right the way through this, the vast majority of Victorians have done the right thing. And I’m very grateful to them. You don’t achieve these sorts of numbers… You don’t go from 700 plus cases a day down to one or two. You just don’t achieve that unless people are following the rules. And I think that they’ll always be examples of people who aren’t, and I would just appeal to them. Please do the right thing, because whether you like it or not, we’re all in this together.
Daniel Andrews: (20:36)
And the bad behavior of a small group of people can have massive repercussions and consequences for everybody. So no one’s got the right to make, what is ultimately a very selfish choice, to put their interests ahead of the interest of the entire Victorian community. No one. No one should be doing that. But let’s not have that though, detract from the amazing work that so many people, literally millions of people, have been doing every day for months now. It is a credit to the strength and character, the resilience, and basically, it’s a credit to what Victorians are made of. We know we’ve got to do this properly, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Speaker 4: (21:18)
Premier, that possible re-infection in Moonee Valley yesterday, has that been reclassified? What happened with that?
Daniel Andrews: (21:22)
I’m not totally sure. Yeah. Sorry. Sorry. That stays in the numbers. So there’s that issue. There are a number of… And the one that I mentioned today, so the Brimbank one who we think is a shedding, rather than an active case. So it’s a re-test, and there’s been very few of those across the world. Literally, single figures, maybe not even five. You’ve then got a situation where there’s some mystery cases plus some of these ones that are a little bit complex and not quite certain. They go to a panel.
Daniel Andrews: (21:51)
And there’s a panel of people who this is what they do, look at the very detailed… Back to that point about narrative and also the science of it, to try and properly understand, is it an active case? Isn’t it is a mystery case? Firstly, is it actually a case? Because some of them are very low positives, for instance, false positives as well, possibly. So they just work through that in a very painstaking way. I don’t think there’s an update. Those two mysteries that have dropped off… I think that’s through the passage of time, not through that review process. But I’ll commend to the chief health officer that he included a section in today’s release on that process and any other material updates from it.
Speaker 5: (22:31)
Premier, just on restrictions being eased ahead of November 1, do you anticipate that they’re more likely to be social or economic restrictions?
Daniel Andrews: (22:39)
I know we’ve outlined the areas that, hopefully on Sunday, we can have more to say about. It is retail. It’ll be reasons to leave your home. It’ll be that kind of hospo sector, so pubs and restaurants and cafes. It’ll be all those sorts of things, together with other businesses that remain closed today. It won’t necessarily be every single business. Some of them are still going to remain very high risk, and I know that’s challenging. And it won’t be every business that is open, open so they’re full. That doesn’t make a lot of sense either. We’ve got to gradually do this, and we continue to work. I was having some discussions with colleagues this morning about a whole lot of meetings and discussions they had last night and into the early hours of this morning with various industry leaders in different sectors, trying to work through what Sunday’s announcements mean for them, and what this coming Sunday’s announcements might mean for them also.
In terms of the hospo sector, that industry is saying that minimums of 10 in spaces indoors to a maximum of 20 isn’t viable. And they want to return to 20, as we had in that brief period in June. Is that something you’d look at?
Daniel Andrews: (23:52)
We’re having a look at all of those settings. We’re not unreasonable in trying to take on the feedback that’s provided to us by those who know that industry very well. They’ve built that industry. It’s a point of pride for our city and state. But it may be that what they need and want, for all the best of reasons, cannot be made safe at this time. So I’m not promising that we can change that, but we’re certainly having a look at it very, very closely. Every venue is different. Some venues can hold well more than two groups of 10. Some venues are spread out and have different bathrooms, for instance. Shared facilities is one of the big challenges here. That even if it were groups of people that were quite well spread apart, if they’re all using the same facilities… This is not exclusive, just one example. Then it’s as if they’re all sitting at the same table.
Daniel Andrews: (24:46)
It’s as if they’re all basically quite close set together. So we are having very important discussions with that industry. Moving outside, I know that’s challenging because it’s not like it’s 35 degrees and sunny every single day. But there is opportunities here, I think. And many people in the industry have said to me personally, and to other colleagues, that there’s an amazing opportunity here to take some space and to have it not just for this summer, but for every summer, and to kind of change the way a lot of precincts work. That won’t work for every single venue. But for many venues, that can be a significant expansion of their footprint, not just for this COVID period, but indeed in the long term. Which I think might well change and actually enhance some of that food and wine culture that we have right across our city and state.
Speaker 6: (25:40)
How long do you anticipate the internal enforcement of Melbourne’s restrictions will go on for things like the peninsula link roadblock that we see at the moment?
Daniel Andrews: (25:50)
So the boundary or-
Speaker 6: (25:51)
Well, I guess that the enforcement within the boundary, so people actively-
Daniel Andrews: (25:55)
Don’t breach the boundary.
Speaker 6: (25:56)
… enforce the 25 kilometer limit.
Daniel Andrews: (25:58)
Right. Okay. Well, obviously, 25 Ks will be there for as long as it needs to be. But it’s not going to be there for a lengthy period of time. Depending on where we move this weekend, I’ll have more to say about that. But the metro regional boundary is very important at this stage. Again, it won’t be there for the rest of the year, but it needs to be there for a while longer because we still have two different stories, if you like.
Daniel Andrews: (26:24)
The virus picture, the amount of virus in regional Victoria, the amount of active cases, for instance, three… If I just take you back to the numbers… If you look at it 119 active cases in metro Melbourne, just three active cases in regional Victoria. So that tells you one story. The fact that all of those mystery cases, those 13, are in metro Melbourne, not in regional Victoria. It makes sense to have those two parts of the state separated at this time. That won’t be in place any longer than it needs to be, nor will the restrictions on movement within the metro area. They won’t be there any longer than they need to be either.
Speaker 6: (27:06)
Given you’ve got good two long weekends, basically back to back, how confident are you that ring of steel is going to stop people traveling to their holiday homes this weekend and then-
Daniel Andrews: (27:12)
Well, I’d simply say to anybody who’s got a second residence or is going to go and stay with friends or whatever it might be, the fines are significant. And police are not mucking about with this. There are check points. They will stop you. I won’t speak to whatever operations they’ll put in place. That’s a matter for them, but I think there’ll be a heightened focus on those sorts of issues just as there is with, whether it’s traffic policing, road safety policing, every single long weekend. It’s not worth running that risk for yourself because if you get caught, and there’s every chance you will be, it’s almost $5,000 fine. The second point is, we all have to keep at this, not for that much longer. That’s what the numbers tell us. That’s what the experts tell us.
Daniel Andrews: (27:57)
And then we can open. And then the whole focus [inaudible 00:28:00] will move every single individual, every single family, every business, every part of the state… The focus has got to move to almost exclusively, stay safe and stay open. No cutting corners. No, “I’m wearing a mask, but it’s around my neck.” All that sort of stuff. People are just going to have to be vigilant about this. Otherwise, we do run the risk that it comes back. Now having got the numbers low, we’ve got every chance to keep them low. But it will be down to the, literally, hundreds of millions of choices that millions of Victorians make every day.
Speaker 4: (28:40)
Can you tell us what you’re waiting for, for regional Victoria? Are you waiting for those five mystery cases in Melbourne, in five cases? What are you waiting for?
Daniel Andrews: (28:49)
No, I don’t think we’re necessarily are, in terms of the border.
Speaker 4: (28:50)
Daniel Andrews: (28:51)
Yeah. I don’t think it’s necessarily a hard number because when, as we’ve said a number of times, when the numbers get this low, it is very much about the story that sits behind them. Not just a case, but the type of case. For instance, yesterday, we did report on the day before it. And we did report a number of new cases, small number, but they were associated with somebody else who was positive in the same household. So they’d been quarantining. They’d been locked away. They don’t pose a risk to anybody else. Again, passage of time is very important, and the closer we can have the epidemiological circumstances or the epidemiological virus situation, the closer we can have the Melbourne and regional Victoria. If they can both get to very, very low numbers, well then the risk will be much lower if we allow people to have a greater freedom of movement to go to regional Victoria.
Daniel Andrews: (29:38)
I understand this. I get it. Again, it’s not special pleadings or anything, but you and I, as just two examples, I’ve not seen my family that live three hours away from where I live since Christmas. You’re probably in a very similar position. There are many, many people that want to desperately go and see the people they love the most. And then there’s lots of other reasons: employment reasons, economic reasons, all sorts of things. And we want those regional tourism businesses to have bookings, all of that. So I get it at a very personal level, and in policy terms as well. But all the feedback I get from regional communities, and it’s strong, is that they’re very proud of what they’ve been able to achieve. They want Melburnians back visiting, but they want it when it’s safe. Sadly I can’t announce today exactly when that will be. But I can certainly reconfirm that that’s what’s driving this.
Speaker 4: (30:31)
Do you think it will be in the next month?
Daniel Andrews: (30:33)
I would certainly hope so. Yes. I would hope that in the next month, during November, we can get to that point. I can’t give you a day, but I’d point you to this. We’re all working towards a COVID-normal Christmas. And COVID-normal Christmas in my judgment, certainly as an aim, is for families to be able to come together and celebrate that day and the days around it, as close to normal as possible. And that will require, obviously, some greater freedom of movement. There may well still be rules. There may well still be things you have to do so that it is a COVID-normal Christmas, not a normal Christmas. But we’ll get that metro regional boundary off as soon as we can. It is serving a really important purpose now. We’re grateful to those who are not traveling, who have realized that it’s just not safe to travel. But to anyone who thinks the odds are good, the odds are in their favor, that they can sneak into regional Victoria, I just wouldn’t do that, for public health reasons, but also, there’s every chance you’ll get caught.
Speaker 6: (31:37)
We’re seeing a lot of-
In terms of the COVID-normal, the work from home if you can policy… How long do you foresee that staying in place in Victoria?
Daniel Andrews: (31:47)
Yeah. Look, that’s a very difficult question to answer, Alex. It’s an important question. I know there’s a lot of businesses, and again, in talking to lots of employers, particularly larger employers, who’ve got very significant buildings in the city… And we know that the more people that are in the city, the more business there is for cafes and restaurants and all of that. It’s very difficult for us to say how long the, if you can work from home you must work from home, will be in place. I’ll just quickly take you through the reasons for that. Obviously, indoors is more risky than outdoors. These are not like a restaurant where you might be, say, there for a couple of hours. People are there for a whole working day. You’ve got shared spaces. You’ve got much larger numbers of people. So people in lifts, people in common areas.
Daniel Andrews: (32:27)
And then, of course, there is the small matter of people getting to work. And public transport at 75 or 85 or 100% of a patronage, that does present some very significant challenges to us. Hopefully, we can get to a point, as soon as possible, where we can say, “Okay, with rules, this is how you can have, for instance, a percentage of people back.” But at this stage, it is best to plan, I think, it’s best to plan for, if you can work from home you must work from home, being a feature of 2020. If we can change that, then of course we will. But again, we just have to be safe. Otherwise, we finish up compromising everything that people have built and done.
So just to clarify, most businesses should prepare, worst case scenario, is not until 2021, will they be able to get everyone back-
Daniel Andrews: (33:20)
Yeah, I certainly have no… I’m not making announcements on this today. But you’ve asked a perfectly legitimate question, so I’m trying to give you a sense of it. But these are not final answers, because the public health team will sit and work through all of that. And look, there may be different settings as well. So a high rise office block in the center of Melbourne is very different to, perhaps, an office out in the suburbs, where there’s only 10 or 15 people working there. So we’ll have more definitive things to say about that at the appropriate time. But I think it’s safe to assume that if you can work from home, you must work from home, is going to be a feature of our opening up for a period of time. I can’t say how long, but as soon as I can, then of course, I will.
Speaker 6: (33:58)
[crosstalk 00:33:58] [inaudible 00:33:58] are seeing a lot of people still getting through those checkpoints…
… are processing a lot of people still getting through those checkpoints. Are you happy that police are stopping enough people, and the second part of that question is where are we at with the ADF personnel that you’ve requested helping at those checkpoints?
Daniel Andrews: (34:11)
Sure. There was, I think at least 50 being allocated to that task. It might even have been as many as a hundred. Two updates I’ll get you, Mike. I’ll get you an update on how many of them are on the ground. Because it does take some time for them to get here, but we’re very grateful that they’ve confirmed what we’ve got now and some additionals. And that’s the point about cyclones and people being taken away to other, more time sensitive issues. So that’s very good news. I’ll get you an update on that.
Daniel Andrews: (34:41)
And in terms of the practices the Victoria Police using and their happiness or otherwise with how that’s working, I think it’s probably appropriate that Victoria Police brief you on that. I’ve certainly got no advice that those arrangements are anything other than being stepped up. They are already at a very high percentage. They’re going even higher and further, to Lundy’s point. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some specific things that police do as they always do whenever there’s a long weekend coming.
Okay. Just a question on Sunday and health authorities thinking on what might have to happen for us to open up early. We haven’t had a mystery case in a number of days and it looks like that trend could continue. If we had one mystery case this week, would that effectively rule out the bringing forward of that timetable?
Daniel Andrews: (35:25)
Would that cause enough doubt to just rule that out?
Daniel Andrews: (35:28)
No. When the numbers get this low and when we’ve seen this amount of time pass and I made some comments, I think it was early last week. I couldn’t nominate a day for you, but I think it was early last week, that ultimately you may get to a point where you’ve just got to make a call. This is as good as it gets, and you’ll always hope that things could further improve. The numbers could further drop. We’re not so finely balanced that one case would throw us off. A big outbreak with many tens of people, for instance, that could potentially cause problems.
Even an unknown case, which-
Daniel Andrews: (36:08)
No, I don’t. I think we all have to accept, and the public health team does accept and so do I, that we are going to finish up with additional cases and additional outbreaks for the rest of this year and into 2021. A percentage of those, albeit a small percentage of those, we won’t be able to work out who, the index cases. So who’d they get it from and how? That’s just the nature of this for us. And it principally goes to the fact that you can have it, not really know you had it, not get tested and then never get tested. It’s the kind of silence of this thing that makes it as challenging, and it’s moved so fast as well.
Daniel Andrews: (36:47)
So the answer to your question is no, a single case like that would not be the difference between this Sunday, and I do stress that would it be Sunday, for a sort of staged opening a couple of later and waiting until the 1st of November. I’m not encouraging mystery cases, but in answer to your question, one, no, that would not be enough to throw us off course.
Sure. Can I just ask a question about a story a colleague of mine wrote today about electronic tags potentially being used for returning travelers?
Daniel Andrews: (37:14)
Could you potentially expand on where that conversation is at with the Department of Justice, the Department of Health, what your thinking is on it, what role it might play?
Daniel Andrews: (37:22)
Yeah. I don’t have an update on where those discussions are up to, but I do know that those options and many other options are being looked at by DJCS who are now running the program, albeit it’s a tiny fraction of what it will have to become once floods come back, and it’s looking after different cohorts, the majority of whom are by choice. They don’t get to choose to isolate, but they’ve chosen to isolate in that setting as opposed to their own home, for instance. I take it to the prime minister’s comments about a, I think he used the term a graduated or a risk-based approach. We’ve got an national cabinet this Friday. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these things are potentially talked about. If not, it will be something we talk about at a future national cabinet meeting. So it may be-
That point being discussed at a national cabinet may be electronic tags? Will that be a national cabinet conversation?
Daniel Andrews: (38:09)
I’m not sure. I think that what I interpret, and I haven’t seen the papers because we didn’t have the meeting last Friday, but what I interpret the prime minister to be saying, and I’m sure if I’m not accurate, somebody will point that out, that the notion that everyone who returns from everywhere goes into 14 days of a hotel. That may not be the policy going forward. As we look to the entirety of 2021, for instance, not knowing when a vaccine turns up. That would then mean that you’ve got options. And one of those options might be to say to people, and other countries in the world are doing this, “Here is an electronic device that means we can be certain about where you are.”
Daniel Andrews: (38:53)
But there is some technology that connects you, monitor your vital signs as well. So it becomes something that’s not just to ensure you stay where you’re supposed to stay. It’s also a way in which we can monitor whether you’re healthy or otherwise. That’s a piece of work that’s being done. I’m not sure exactly where that’s up to.
Daniel Andrews: (39:12)
And the other final point I’d make. I know it’s a simple question, but the answer can’t necessarily be simple. The other point is that the board will report to us early November and I’m not sure what they might say, what, if anything, they might say about what an appropriate set of arrangements is. So we have to wait for that, for that, too.
Speaker 7: (39:26)
And just on the topic of, just one more topic. Sorry. As we know, from the evidence of the hotel inquiry and various statements by ministers and public servants, ministers weren’t intimately involved in the operational planning around the first iteration of hotel quarantine. According to our report today, you have been involved in conversations around the electronic tag usage. How intimately involved are you in the next iteration of hotel quarantine?
Daniel Andrews: (39:53)
Well, I’ll put it to you this-
Are you taking an active role?
Daniel Andrews: (39:54)
Sure. I’ll put it to you this way. This matter was drawn to my attention. And I was involved to the extent that I said, “That looks interesting. You should look into that.” And that’s what’s going on and that’s what’s happened. And I suppose the best way to answer your question is, I’ll be involved sufficient to be confident in the arrangements that we set up to reestablish this program. But as far as bracelets, anklets, whatever we might call them, that electronic monitoring was drawn to my attention that other countries are doing it. And I simply said, “That’s worth having a look at. Let’s go and have a look at that.”
Daniel Andrews: (40:31)
And if we can get people safely into their own home, but have a high degree of confidence that they’re not spreading the virus and we can actually monitor their health status at the same time, that seems to me fairly common sense thing to do. I’ve no idea what it costs. I have no idea whether we can, whether it can be done. It’s just a matter of it needed to be tested. And I’m happy to try and follow up for you, but that’s not something I’ve turned my mind to recently, because I think that work is actually being done. We’re in this holding pattern until we get the board’s report.
Speaker 8: (40:59)
On that inquiry, obviously there was that extraordinary meeting today? What are you expecting out of that today?
Daniel Andrews: (41:03)
I’ve got no expectations at all. I’ve got no knowledge of what they’ll be doing. They’ll do what they need to do. And after that, I think they’ll be continuing on to get their report done and hand it up to us, to all Victorians no later than the sixth. I have no advice to the country.
Speaker 8: (41:21)
Apart from the phone records that were requested, have you been asked to hand up any further information or to appear again in front of the [crosstalk 00:00:41:28]?
Daniel Andrews: (41:30)
Oh, we’re certainly not been asked to appear. But any requests of any other information we, of course, as we have always done, of course we would hand that up.
Speaker 8: (41:39)
So has there been a request for extra information from your office following the request for phone records?
Daniel Andrews: (41:47)
Following the phone records?
Speaker 8: (41:47)
Daniel Andrews: (41:48)
I think there might have been a letter. I’ve not seen the letter, but I think there might have been a letter just asking for some clarification on a number of not new issues. But of course there have been some developments in recent times. Again, I can try and come back to you on that, but I’ve certainly not been called. But I don’t know whether anyone else has been called. I’ve got no knowledge of what they’re doing today because that they are an independent board and they’ll do whatever they think is appropriate.
Speaker 7: (42:14)
Speaker 9: (42:14)
Speaker 8: (42:15)
[crosstalk 00:42:15] information has been requested.
Daniel Andrews: (42:15)
Speaker 8: (42:19)
Do you foresee that you will not get the report on the sixth of November?
Daniel Andrews: (42:23)
No, I wouldn’t make that judgment. What you put to me could be right, but we certainly haven’t been asked or we haven’t been told that there’ll be extra time needed. So the original timeline holds as I stand here now. I don’t know what will be said today. We’ve got no involvement in that. And if I could share with you thoughts on what today was about, I would, but I genuinely know no more than you do.
Speaker 9: (42:51)
Premier, has the inquiry asked for any further funding?
Daniel Andrews: (42:54)
You just said we’re reluctantly in the New Zealand bubble. Are you open to allowing your direct flights from New Zealand before other international flights?
Daniel Andrews: (43:05)
That is potentially an option. And we’re having a look at that, Lundy. You know, how we got to the point of being in the bubble, I think we’ve dealt with that. We don’t need to go back through that again. I’m very confident that we’ve found all the people that had arrived. We’ve had a chat to them and it may be, given that’s where we find ourselves, that it’s just as easy to have international flights from New Zealand come here. So we’re having a think about that. And if we can get that done, then I’ll be able to confirm that at the appropriate time.
Speaker 9: (43:40)
Speaker 8: (43:43)
Have you spoken to Jacinda directly about potentially New Zealand just flying directly into Melbourne?
Daniel Andrews: (43:45)
No, I haven’t. I spoke with her on Saturday night about the election victory, but I haven’t spoken to her since then. But yeah, I don’t know that I’d necessarily need to have a conversation with her about that. I would just make the point that none of the you know, drama or whatever you want to call it over the last few days is any reflection upon those New Zealanders who are traveling here. I just want to make that point. We may finish up Lundy. It might just be easier for us to have those flights come here, given that they are from a low virus place, but let’s have a look at that. That’s not a flippant thing. You need to be obviously cautious and careful about doing that. But that’s something that we’re having a look at.
Speaker 7: (44:29)
Premier, as you yourself have said, it’s a low virus place. Was it a bit of a reaction to the way that you responded to the COVID?
Daniel Andrews: (44:36)
No, I don’t. I don’t think so. I’ve made some comments that I stand by. I don’t think it’s ever good, and I’m sure that other premiers in other states would probably have a similar view. It’s not good to have people turn up without any notice, but anyway, that’s happened and there’s no-
Speaker 7: (44:48)
Apparently some of those were actually shearers going into regional Victoria-
Daniel Andrews: (44:52)
Speaker 7: (44:52)
… who actually had the appropriate permits to go from Melbourne into the region. So?
Daniel Andrews: (44:58)
No. Again, I’ve made all those points and I’m not going back over ground, that we’ve been well and truly over the last couple of days. We’ve got no problem with those individuals. The challenge was about, we were asked, “Do you want to be in it?” We said no. Now we find ourselves, we are in fact in it. That’s fine. We’ll work it through. There’s nothing to be served, I think, by this sort of to-ing and fro-ing.
Daniel Andrews: (45:20)
But I don’t think the points that I made on Saturday were unreasonable in any way, but that’s in the past now. And it may even be that the easiest thing for us to do, given where we’re at and given the effect of national policy settings, it may well be just as easy to have those flights come here. But again, that’s not entirely a decision for me to make. We’d need to talk to some other people, including Melbourne Airport. I would think about that. I’m pretty sure they’d be keen to have them back. Have as many flights as possible. Anyway, I’m not interested in going back over those things.
[crosstalk 00:45:51] … those numbers, the asterisk. Why have we included the interstate, Victorian case as an asterisk in today’s numbers? I thought [crosstalk 00:46:00]-
Daniel Andrews: (46:00)
There’s a protocol. No. So what’ll happen is we get advised of the positive and that’s the most urgent information. And the default setting is, have they got a Victorian address? So we do that as fast as we possibly can because there have been equally cases where people have had an interstate address, but that haven’t been reported in their numbers, but have been found here. So we’ve wrapped a public health response around them very, very quickly. So it’s just one of those things that from an abundance of caution, you report the number and then you work very hard to make sure that you know where the person is. And if it turns out that they’re not in our state, but they are a Victorian.
Daniel Andrews: (46:40)
And we’ve had a few of these just like we’ve had, I think, Lundy, some people who had a regional Victorian address near Melbourne, and they were very, very delicately poised, could we take the two steps at once in regional Victoria? I think if memory serves, we had a couple of cases where we thought they might’ve been, they had a regional address, but they’d been in Melbourne the whole time. So it was just that abundance of caution. We assume that they are where their address says they would be. And then if that’s not the case, then we can … Better to take a number out then not to have put it in in the first place, I think.
Speaker 7: (47:13)
You said this has happened before though, but we’ve never had an asterix before. Why are they being half-added now?
Daniel Andrews: (47:20)
I’m not sure. I’m not sure. I’m happy to follow up on that. I’m not sure. I’m not sure whether the extra risk relates to that individual or whether it probably should better relate to, and I haven’t seen the tweet, or whether the asterisk might better relate to the person who’s had it some time ago and has retested as positive and is likely to be shedding the virus and is therefore come up as a positive, which the expert panel may well rule as a false positive or a positive, but non-infectious or some term in between those.
Speaker 7: (47:52)
The way the tweets composed, it would suggest it’s the interstate person with a Victorian address.
Daniel Andrews: (47:56)
Okay. I’m not sure about how consistent we’ve been with whatever the plural of asterisks is. But I’ll follow it up.
Currently what’s the process once the inquiry’s report is handed down? How long will you need to look at it and how long after that will we see return travelers starting?
Daniel Andrews: (48:13)
It’s very difficult to say. Obviously we need to know what’s in that report. We need to know what’s put to us in terms of things that we should do for the future, but we’ll make it public as soon as we get it. And then it’s not, I think, unreasonable for us to perhaps take a little bit of time just to think about that. But I will take, we will take the decisive action needed to make sure these sort of mistakes just can never happen again, regardless of the context. I’d love to be able to say date X, flights will be back, because I know that there’s a lot of people who want to travel into our city and state. I just can’t provide that answer now, but I will be able to soon.
Speaker 7: (48:51)
If the court says a royal commission is needed regarding some of the misleading evidence that’s supposedly been put to the inquiry, would you support it?
Daniel Andrews: (48:57)
I can’t usefully speculate on those matters. That’s-
Speaker 7: (49:00)
If a royal commission was called for, would you support it?
Daniel Andrews: (49:04)
Speaker 7: (49:04)
By Jennifer Coate.
Daniel Andrews: (49:05)
I’m not going to be commenting on what she may or may not call for, may or may not do, may or may not find. That’s not appropriate. That’s very close to me, essentially, wanting to influence what she does.
Speaker 7: (49:16)
Daniel Andrews: (49:16)
And I just don’t think that’s the appropriate thing to do.
Speaker 7: (49:18)
Obviously, we’re still waiting for the findings. But outside of the inquiry, you have said that the failures have been, there’s mistakes been made, they were unacceptable, and that Victorians deserve an answer.
Daniel Andrews: (49:28)
Speaker 7: (49:28)
You’ve also admitted that the majority of the infections were seeded by cases within hot hotels. So on that basis, is it a conclusion that you can call that flawed government decisions ultimately led to the deaths of over 800 Victorians?
Daniel Andrews: (49:47)
That’s not a conclusion for me to make. That’s a conclusion for potentially the board to make. Again, it’s not a matter of admitting. The science tells you. On the morning that I received that science, I stood up here and told you that. And then I established a board and that board hasn’t finished its work yet. And when it does, we’ll be able to look at their findings, the recommendations they do or don’t make. That’s entirely a matter for them. We have no involvement other than assisting the board wherever that’s appropriate.
I want to say to Mike’s question-
Speaker 7: (50:14)
If the inquiry was to report at a later date, given the extra work they’re doing, that would necessarily delay incoming travelers.
Daniel Andrews: (50:24)
That’s hypothetical, but yes, logic would follow that, if you’re waiting for that report, if you have to wait longer, then flights will be returning later. I just think though, I want to be as clear as I can with you, no request for extra money, no requests for extra time. They might make that this afternoon, but they haven’t yet. And if they do, then that would be a matter for them and all the way along when they’ve asked for anything the answer has been yes, and I think that’s the most appropriate thing, having set it up. I want it to do its work as well as they possibly can. But just to be clear I’ve got no advice, no sense of-
Daniel Andrews: (51:03)
… No advice, no sense of them doing that. That’s something that we’ll have to wait until later on today.
Speaker 10: (51:09)
[inaudible 00:51:09] report has found that if the lockdowns occurred sooner, they could have been significantly reduced. Do you have any comments on those?
Daniel Andrews: (51:15)
No, I haven’t read that report. Sorry, the actual font, the academic piece of work, but I have seen the report of it. Look, with the greatest of respect to people at my old university, this is not an academic exercise and you don’t get the look back. You don’t get the do-over, this is not someone’s thesis, as important as they might be, for the next global pandemic that comes their way. These are really difficult decisions. They’re among the most difficult that I’ve ever had to make. I’m sure I speak for many, many colleagues that they’re feeling the weight of these decisions just as I do. But one thing I can be certain of, you don’t get to go back to the beginning of stage four and say, “Oh, let’s change it all.” That’s not the way this works.
Daniel Andrews: (51:57)
The only way it works is make the best decisions now, stick to your guns. When you know you’re right, don’t be dragged into doing what’s popular and wrong. Do what is right. That’s what we’ve done. That’s what we’ve done. More broadly, the Victorian community’s not done what’s easy. They’ve done what’s right, what’s necessary, what is essential to getting those numbers down and it’s why I am proud to lead this state and deeply grateful to every single Victorian who is staying the course so that we can hopefully this Sunday, make some further announcements following the ones we made last Sunday. And then we can move to a situation where rules can come off and the only rules that’ll stay are the ones that keep us open. And then everybody’s conduct is going to have to be really quite as for comforting or simpleness, stay safe to stay open. That’s where we’re going to move to. And I’m really confident Victorians will do that.
Speaker 10: (52:49)
I mean, regardless of whether you make the announcements this Sunday or the following Sunday, will you also be again foreshadowing some sort of opening up for the weeks to come after that?
Daniel Andrews: (52:59)
Yeah, I think the best way to answer the question is there is I think, great benefit, although everything is subject to change with this, but even noting that, on all the caveats that have to be in those things, there is still some benefit to us having the most up-to-date medium term roadmaps of that what’s happening in November, what’s happening in December. It may well be that we can provide some updates to that this weekend, or it might be in the days that follow. But we understand that that’s a very important thing. But again, the longer out you go, the more predictive you try and be, then the more likely it is that you’ll have to change it. So there, I suppose that’s a guide if you like, rather than a hard and fast plan that we can be absolutely certain we’ll be able to hit every single date or benchmark that we put in it. But yes, we’ll try and update that so people have got as much certainty as we can possibly give them.
Do you mind if I ask a question?
Speaker 10: (53:52)
And I have one question for one of colleagues. Sorry, Andrew. There’s been concerns raised by residents in East Melbourne regarding homeless people being put in hotels around there, and they don’t have an end date as to when that will be. And they say there’s been a lot of issues regards to crime in the area, as what they say as a result. Do we know how long people will continue to be housed in hotels for?
Daniel Andrews: (54:14)
Well, I’m not certain about and I’ll make no comment about the crime statistics in that area over this period. I’m happy to try and follow that up for you. The people will be accommodated safely and not on park benches and in laneways and out the front of shop fronts for as long as we can possibly do that. And there’s a mix. Some are in hotels and I know there might be some people watching, “Oh, well how much does that cost?” Well, but a fraction of what a homeless person costs us ultimately in drug and alcohol services, health services, physical and mental, et cetera, to crime, all of those things, right? One thing you’ve heard me say a few times, there are some things that have been exposed by this global pandemic, whether it’s insecure work or the fact that women are always the most profoundly impacted when you have a big economic shock like this, so on and so forth.
Daniel Andrews: (55:08)
But on the more positive side, I was talking to the Lord Mayor about this, who’s very passionate about it for all the right reasons on a very personal level, but also in terms of just the way the city works and having us be an absolutely, a real international leader, when it comes to looking after the most disadvantaged and have the most pleasant experiences in streets and laneways all across the city. So for all the right reasons, we’ve got only now a handful, so hundreds and hundreds of people, there’s only a very, very small number, single figures, where people despite all of our offering, have not taken up the offer to come off the streets, not be a rough sleeper and get the security and the safety of somewhere permanent to live. At least permanent when it comes to the very insecure circumstances that they’ve come from.
Daniel Andrews: (55:57)
We’ll have a lot more to say as the treasurer outlined the other day about social housing. I think that our service providers have done a great job in looking after the most vulnerable. And we are often well measured by the way we look after the most vulnerable and I aim, aim, we might not be able to achieve it, but I aim to lock in some of the benefits that we’ve had in terms of the number of people that have gone from literally nowhere to live into much safer, much more secure circumstances. That’s good for them, good for all of us. And it’s much cheaper in the long run than having many hundreds of people, not just in Melbourne, but in the inner city councils, for instance, and in the suburbs too, not being able to have somewhere that’s their place to live with all the appropriate supports.
Speaker 10: (56:42)
Is it fair to say, just on the back of that, that aside from waiting for more social housing to be built, that some people may stay in hotels for much longer than…
Daniel Andrews: (56:51)
I can’t put a date on it, actually. I haven’t actually thought when might that end. It’s providing, I think, very substantial benefits for those people involved. I’m happy to follow up the local issues. They have not been raised with… They may have been raised with others, but they’ve not been raised with me. I’m more than happy to follow that up, but…
Speaker 11: (57:08)
Can you talk about, Premier, has just said that Victoria’s numbers are looking positive and that she’s potentially going to look into letting more Victorians into New South Wales. [crosstalk 00:57:17].
Daniel Andrews: (57:16)
That’s very nice of her.
Speaker 11: (57:16)
Daniel Andrews: (57:16)
That’s very good.
Speaker 11: (57:20)
Great. Any update on Melbourne Cup and Halloween?
Daniel Andrews: (57:24)
I’ll have to be careful now, let’s just start. No, I have no updates on either of those, but we don’t have a Halloween minister or maybe we do. It’d be a matter for you guys to work that out, but the Racing Minister will speak to racing at the appropriate time.
Speaker 12: (57:36)
Speaking of the Racing Minister, sorry, just on that.
Daniel Andrews: (57:39)
Speaker 12: (57:41)
Are you and Martin Pakula any closer to deciding on crowd numbers for Melbourne Cup?
Daniel Andrews: (57:44)
I’ll let him make announcements. But again, I think it is unlikely that we have big crowds. I think it may be those that are connected with the running of the race. But we’re not just looking at big events as important as they are to drive jobs and industries, if you like, but every single event, whether it’s a small, just a few hundred people attending a festival in a regional community, all the way through to the Australian Open tennis, the Boxing Day test, the Grand Prix next year, Spring Racing Carnival, and every event in between. So that’s, I think, a really important process that the same principles, the same public health logic, should apply, whether it’s a really grassroots local community event, all the way through to bigger events. I think that consistency serves us well.
Daniel Andrews: (58:26)
That’s what New South Wales have been doing and I think some other states as well. So we are applying that and hopefully we’ll have some good news, particularly for events that are much more a feature of the summer, so with a few more weeks and months behind us, whether it be Cricket at the G on Boxing Day, Australian Open tennis, et cetera, et cetera.
Speaker 12: (58:46)
Pardon me, are you saying-
Regional [inaudible 00:58:47] are wondering why they can’t keep lessons when regional dance studios can. Is there logic to this?
Daniel Andrews: (58:51)
Well, I don’t know that regional dance studios can just yet, but they’re going to be. Isn’t that foreshadowed for a little later? Happy to follow it up. There’s no greater… Well, it’s regardless to judge how good a supporter I am, but I know and value and understand how important live music is in the city, the suburbs, and in every part of the state. And I’ve tried to be a very strong supporter of that industry. They’re doing it very tough at the moment, very tough for the best of public health reasons. We’re going to have a lot more to say about that industry. But on the specifics of that recording studios in regional Victoria, I will come back to you.
Speaker 12: (59:27)
Premier, are you planning on going to the Grand Final?
Daniel Andrews: (59:31)
Speaker 12: (59:32)
Well, what are your plans? What are your plans?
Daniel Andrews: (59:34)
I’ll be at home with my wife and my three children.
Speaker 10: (59:39)
[crosstalk 00:59:39] for…
[crosstalk 00:59:42] say.
Speaker 12: (59:42)
Daniel Andrews: (59:42)
Well, footy’s the winner, simple as that.
Speaker 12: (59:43)
What’s it called out Premier?
Daniel Andrews: (59:45)
Well, Essedon’s not in it, so if they were, I’d be backing for them. And whether I need to begin planning for that day is not clear to me yet. I just want us on the back page of the paper, not on the front page.
Premier, I know you’ve been asked… We’ve been asked…
Daniel Andrews: (01:00:03)
Two great teams, no we’ll just say this so. Two amazing teams, two amazing football clubs. And they, when you think about what they’ve had to do this year, all the Melbourne teams, all the Victorian teams, when you think about what they’ve had to do, what they’ve had to go through, it is a very impressive thing. A very impressive thing. That they, their coaching staff, all their administrative staff, their presidents and boards, all of them, their families, have all given a lot. And it’s a footy season like no other. And for two of arguably the most disrupted teams, the teams that have had to deal with the biggest challenges, to be able to make it through to the Grand Final and Melbourne Storm as well, they should be very, very proud.
Just another couple of Grand Final questions, Premier, I know you’ve got to go.
Daniel Andrews: (01:00:46)
Not about the match, is the rationale behind not allowing people to gather in backyards, for example, or front yards of people’s houses, but allowing them to gather in public places, is the rationale is simply that it might encourage people to meet inside if they meet it in the backyard? And then secondly, do you know if there’s any police focus on areas like Swan Street, for example, on Saturday night, if we turned up.
Daniel Andrews: (01:01:09)
Yeah. I think it’s a fair bit to say there will a police focus on that setting and perhaps others, but I’ll leave them to speak to that. This is a match at night as well. So I think that that’s not something we’ve had before. The issue is that what might start off as many hundreds of thousands of gatherings in people’s homes where people let their guard down, where they don’t observe distancing, and it’s not a criticism. It’s just a statement of fact. We have to acknowledge this. We’ve got that much evidence of there’s so much transmission that’s occurred in homes. And when you think about it for only a moment, it becomes pretty clear. The masks are off, people are hugging and kissing, people are not keeping their distance. People are sharing facilities. People don’t necessarily clean their home to that kind of industrial standard that a pub or a club might.
Daniel Andrews: (01:02:02)
It’s just not safe for us to get to that point at this stage. And what starts off as perhaps an outside gathering doesn’t stay outside for long. Weather turns, people are using facilities, all those sorts of things. Look, if I could do it, I would. I know how important the day it is, but I’ve called this out as something that can’t happen. Now, I hope people listen to that and they value everything they will be able to do across summer and 2021 as being more important than one day this weekend, as important as the Grand Final is. Particularly if you are a Cats or a Tigers fan.
Speaker 12: (01:02:41)
Premier, do the players have to self isolate when they return to Victoria?
Daniel Andrews: (01:02:46)
Football? I’m not sure. I wouldn’t think so. I wouldn’t think so.
Speaker 12: (01:02:51)
And they’re allowed to come back the day after the game finishes?
Daniel Andrews: (01:02:54)
I would think so, yeah. Yeah. If there’s any conditions on that, I’m happy to ask the Chief Health Officer, but I don’t think there is.
Speaker 10: (01:03:01)
Just on regional five [inaudible 00:12:01], there’s been a bit of confusion about that. Did you properly engage with councils before you made that announcement?
Daniel Andrews: (01:03:09)
I think we did. They’re going to have to do more than they would normally do. I’m not expecting them to necessarily be pleased about that, but we’re all doing different things. We’re all having to rise to different challenges. I’m confident that in the next couple of days we can get that right. Many people will, I think, make the best of decisions and say, “Right, I won’t go and do it, I don’t necessarily need to.” It’s going to be perhaps a bigger job than it might otherwise be anyway because we haven’t been there for many months.
Daniel Andrews: (01:03:30)
I’ll get a local contractor to do it where that’s possible. I’m confident that councils, yes, we’re asking them to do more and different things, but that’s the nature of 2020 in many ways. We’re all having to do things differently. And I’m confident that we’ll get that right. This is equally challenging, oh sorry, extra challenging because it’s not just fire, it’s flood as well, particularly given some of the forecasts that the Bureau has given us. Any other issues, guys? If not, thank you and we’ll see you tomorrow.