Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews will have more non-Covid-related questions to answer in the coming week than any other time since the pandemic began.
And the man called ‘President Dan’ is unlikely to enjoy or effectively answer any of them.
Over the next month, the premier’s leadership and resilience will be set on fire again.
Victoria’s Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has managed to stick to his job despite monitoring the deaths of hundreds of elderly Victorians
On Friday, Victoria recorded the highest daily number of active Covid cases since the pandemic began, with 1,838 infections and five deaths
The employment of private security guards at Victoria’s quarantine hotels (pictured) saw the virus seep into the community and kill hundreds.
This time, it will have nothing to do with his performance dealing with the dreaded virus.
As of Monday, the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission will launch public hearings in ‘allegations that public money intended to fund community associations was misused for party political work or other improper purposes’.
The hearings are expected to last at least a month and draw a number of grades before the Prime Minister would have been pleasant to have remained stuck in the shadows.
The hearings will focus on concern grants to organizations, which will then use the funds to recruit new members to the Labor Party.
For those who are not lingo, branching is basically when people are recruited to a branch of a political party to influence who is pre-elected as an election candidate.
It comes with the problem of certain factions of political parties increasing membership with the notion that advance voting ensures that its preferred candidate gets the job.
It is a risky practice within political parties as old as the hills.
Former Labor MP, now independent, Adem Somyurek is expected to play a key role in the IBAC hearings.
Last year, Mr Somyurek accused Andrews of branching out during a State Parliament speech.
A day earlier, he had been called out for the exercise even in a 60-minute exposure.
It was a ‘hatchet job’, Somyurek said of the report.
On Friday, the struggling politician fired a shot over the bow at reporter Nick McKenzie pending IBAC hearings.
‘I remind Nick McKenzie that each article is worth $ 400,000 in defamation. Ibac is advertised to go for 30 days. If McKenzie were writing one article a day, it would be $ 400,000 @ 30 = $ 12 million. Keep coming, ‘he tweeted.
Former Labor MP, now independent, Adem Somyurek is expected to play an interesting role in the IBAC hearings
Adem Somyurek (right) and Prime Minister Daniel Andrews (center) were once close allies
Victoria’s Prime Minister Daniel Andrews arrives at a press conference this week without a mask
But it is speculation about Mr Andrews ‘dealings with the firefighters’ association that is causing the Prime Minister’s haters to revolve around his scalp.
IBAC has been examining the role of the United Firefighters Union in Victoria’s fire service reform since 2019.
Although complex in nature, the controversy revolves around how an unpopular and expensive deal with the union and its boss was hit.
In 2016, Andrews threw his hat in the ring to make the deal happen.
By that time, the issue had dragged on for years and had seen the entire board of the Country Fire Authority fired by the Prime Minister.
Supposed leaks about what IBAC will look at over the next month, so the opposition this week is urging Mr Andrews to stand up.
When asked on Wednesday if he wanted to, the prime minister stood firm.
Andrews knew he was on stable ground – perhaps more stable than anyone else has been on during the entire pandemic.
Under the IBAC Act, it can be an offense for a person to confirm that they are being investigated at all.
‘If you want to know what IBAC does and who they do it with, talk to Ibac. I can not give you any other answer, Andrews told reporters.
‘I behave appropriately at all times and I am focused on always doing what is appropriate.’
It is a man who has been the victim of a tsunami of criticism, speculation and condemning factual errors over the past 19 months.
Victorian firefighters marched on Parliament’s steps, urging Prime Minister Daniel Andrews to deliver a Christmas wish in the form of a new workplace agreement in 2015. It was eventually granted
The head of the United Firefighters Union, Peter Marshall, negotiated a controversial deal with the Andrews government
Former Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos resigned after Prime Minister Daniel Andrews blamed her for his government’s disastrous hotel quarantine scheme
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews took the oath to tell the truth in an inquiry into the state’s hotel quarantine disaster last year
On Friday, Victoria recorded the highest daily number of active Covid cases since the pandemic began, with 1,838 infections and five deaths.
Last year, the state registered 890 covid-related deaths – most of the senior citizens who died after the virus leaked out of the premier’s bungled hotel quarantine program.
An embarrassing investigation into this scandal saw Mr Andrews, his staff and ministers all denied responsibility for these errors.
In the end, the prime minister apologized to Victorians, and his health minister took the blame for the blame.
But ‘Teflon Dan’ soldiers continued.
Even a fall down the stairs could not stop the leader who held power.
On Thursday night, text messages began to spread among Melburners, suggesting Andrews was more than a little worried about what IBAC would find.
Government sources told the Daily Mail Australia that it was’ wishful thinking ‘to believe that IBAC would end Andrews’ reign at the top.
‘Anyone who cheers on IBAC as the tool to quit him can get a gross shock. Covid is the killer, ‘said the source.