Fiery moment Daniel Andrews clashes with a reporter who took him to task for claiming one in four Victorians were breaching lockdown – when the real figure was 1%
- Daniel Andrews has clashed with a reporter during Thursday’s press conference
- The Victorian Premier was accused of ‘misleading’ the public with his statistics
- He previously claimed one in four people weren’t home during lockdown checks
- He said although people weren’t home it didn’t mean they were breaching rules
- Victoria recorded another 13 deaths and 240 coronavirus cases on Thursday
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was put through an eight-minute grilling from a reporter over COVID-19 facts and statistics.
Mr Andrews was questioned during his press conference on Thursday after he previously claimed one in four Victorians weren’t home during quarantine checks.
Victoria Police have since revealed the real figure is less than one per cent.
‘If you’re asking me why did I say one in four people weren’t home? It’s because one in four people weren’t home. That’s why I said that,’ Mr Andrews said to begin the exchange.
‘That’s a fact and that’s exactly why I made that point.’
Daniel Andrews (pictured) clashed with a reporter during Thursday’s press conference
Mr Andrews noted that even though one in four people meant to be in isolation did not answer the door when ADF and Department of Health personnel knocked, it did not mean authorities assumed they were breaching their quarantine.
‘I indicated they weren’t at home. They weren’t at home. We didn’t issue on-the-spot fines. We referred it to Victoria Police,’ he said.
‘It is their job to determine and investigate whether people had a lawful excuse not to be at home.
‘Just as I foreshadowed, we didn’t assume that they weren’t all doing the wrong thing. There was, as I said the time, it could be you choose not to answer the door.
‘You might be isolating at another house. The address for you might be wrong. It might be as [the police] put it yesterday, you might be out the back in a shed. There are lots of different reasons.’
The journalist claimed Mr Andrews’ numbers were ‘misleading’ Victorians into believing more people were breaking lockdown sanctions.
‘How is it misleading to inform the community that when somebody from the army and somebody from the health department knocked on the door, there was no no-one who answered it? How is that misleading?’ Mr Andrews responded.
‘Having been the one who made the point I suppose I am uniquely qualified to put it to you that what I said was factual and what then happened was appropriate.’
A photographer is quizzed by police during stage four lockdown restrictions in Melbourne on Tuesday
Mr Andrews said the government have tried to be as honest as possible through the pandemic and small numbers of people doing the wrong thing shouldn’t take away from Victorians doing the right thing.
‘I don’t accept the conclusion that you’re drawing about blame. I don’t accept any of those – they’re not – they’re not factual, in that they are your view,’ he said.
‘You’re entitled to your view, I don’t share that view. I try to be as frank and direct as I can.’
Victoria recorded 13 deaths and 240 new coronavirus cases on Thursday but there are fears the true total could be higher because testing rates are low in some areas.
There are 180 testing sights across Victoria – but one centre in Melbourne’s northern suburbs has been testing as few as 20 people per day.
On Wednesday 20,279 tests were taken, down from a peak of 33,826 on 31 July.
There were only 16,109 tests done on Wednesday, which Mr Andrews blamed on ‘far less people moving around the community’.
Healthcare workers examine drivers at a drive through COVID-19 testing centre in Melbourne on Tuesday