‘Arrogant’: Mikakos’ move sparks fury
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has sparked outrage and calls for her resignation by refusing to answer a single question about her handling of the state's coronavirus pandemic in parliament.
Ms Mikakos responded to seven key questions during Tuesday's debate in the Legislative Council by saying she would provide a written response on Wednesday.
This is not standard practice and was slammed by other politicians as an "appalling contempt of parliament" given the disastrous situation the state is in.
This is quite extraordinary. Minister @JennyMikakos is refusing to answer questions in QT instead will provide a written answer.@georgiecrozier interjects “smug, arrogant, appalling” @abcmelbourne #springst— Richard Willingham (@rwillingham) August 4, 2020
It came after Labor followed advice from Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton to prevent the Legislative Assembly, where it has a majority, from sitting due to coronavirus.
However the upper house sitting went ahead, where Ms Mikakos' refusal to comment sparked outrage. Following the sitting, she tweeted "we shouldn't be at parliament today."
We should all be staying safe. The @VictorianCHO advice was to delay this sitting," she said.
"It's a dangerous trend for leaders to ignore medical advice. We should set the example. The longer we're here, the greater the risk to all who work at #springst."
We shouldn’t be at parliament today. We should all be staying safe. The @VictorianCHO advice was to delay this sitting. It’s a dangerous trend for leaders to ignore medical advice. We should set the example. The longer we’re here, the greater the risk to all who work at #springst pic.twitter.com/eocRLzM7mW— Jenny Mikakos MP #StayHomeSaveLives (@JennyMikakos) August 4, 2020
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Victorian Shadow Treasurer Louise Staley wrote on Twitter the move was "contempt of centuries of parliamentary practice," and "a shameful day for democracy."
Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Georgie Crozier called the Health Minister "smug", "arrogant" and "appalling".
It came as thousands of Victorian workplaces prepared to shut down for six weeks from Wednesday in a move that is expected to cost at least 250,000 jobs.
On Tuesday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews blasted 800 people who were supposed to be self-isolating, but were not found inside their homes during sweeping residential checks.
The reckless behaviour forced the Government to issue fines of up to $5000 to anyone not at home when they should be.
"This is an unacceptable number," Mr Andrews said. "If you are supposed to be at home and you are not then you face the prospect of a fine of up to $5000.
"If there were particularly selfish behaviour, like for instance going to work when you have the virus, then there is the alternative pathway and that is of course taking you to the Magistrates' Court where the maximum penalty that can be applied to you is $20,000."
Originally published as 'Arrogant': Mikakos' move sparks fury