Premier Daniel Andrews has been sworn in using The Bible at the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry

You can watch live here

Screen Shot 2020-09-25 at 12.22.17 pm

Andrews has been shown text messages dated 27 March 2020 from police commissioner Graham Ashton to the AFP chief - Ashton refers to a "deal" having been done by the Premier's office for private security contractors to be used at quarantine hotels.

The Premier knows nothing about it, can't explain why Ashton might have held that view at that time.

Screen Shot 2020-09-25 at 1.02.19 pm

Screen Shot 2020-09-25 at 1.02.19 pm

(My video stream is cutting in and out - I'm going to come back to this post later on).

Video Mikakos/Pakula 29 March press conference announcing hotel quarantine "With security guards in place"

Thanks to Jill Jacks for this important video record.

Minister Pakula couldn't be clearer, mandatory quarantine in hotel rooms "With security guards in place".

Minister Mikakos's claim that she only became aware that security guards were working at quarantine hotels two months later is an insult to our intelligence.

Archibald Prize for best portrait painting


Winner: Archibald Prize 2020

Vincent Namatjira

Stand strong for who you are
acrylic on linen
152 x 198 cm
Further information

Vincent Namatjira describes his portrait subject, Adam Goodes, as ‘a proud Aboriginal man who stands strong for his people’. He says: ‘I first met Adam in 2018, when he visited the school in Indulkana where I live, as part of his work promoting Indigenous literacy. When I saw the documentary The final quarter about Adam’s final season of AFL, my guts were churning as I relived Adam’s experiences of relentless racism on and off the field. Memories of my own experiences were stirred up and I wanted to reach out and reconnect with Adam.

‘We share some similar stories and experiences – of disconnection from culture, language and Country, and the constant pressures of being an Aboriginal man in this country. We’ve also both got young daughters and don’t want them to have to go through those same experiences.

‘When I was younger and growing up in the foster system in Perth, Indigenous footballers were like heroes to me. Goodesy is much more than a great footballer though, he took a strong stand against racism and said, “enough is enough”. I stand strong with you too, brother.’

Namatjira has painted himself alongside Goodes in this portrait. It is the fourth time in the Archibald Prize for the Western Arrernte artist, who was born in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) in 1983.


This from the Art Gallery of NSW.

Australia’s most engaging art event

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes is an annual exhibition eagerly anticipated by artists and audiences alike.

The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, is Australia’s favourite art award, and one of its most prestigious. Awarded to the best portrait painting, it’s a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.

The Wynne Prize is awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery, or figure sculpture, while the Sulman Prize is given to the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media.

Each year, the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW judge the Archibald and Wynne, and invite an artist to judge the Sulman. The 2020 judge is Khadim Ali.


Police withdraw domestic violence/assault charges against Ryan Phelan after new evidence emerged

Women who make false claims of violence do irreparable damage to our community.  They prey on the sympathetic virtues of the public....


What a horrible ordeal.

Here's Channel 7's statement at the time the allegations were made.


On 29 March Ministers Mikakos and Pakula gave a press conference, Pakula announced security guards were monitoring hotel rooms

Yesterday, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos's gave this sworn evidence to Victoria's Hotel Quarantine Inquiry

Screen Shot 2020-09-25 at 6.59.17 am

Late May?

On the morning of Sunday 29 March 2020, Minister Mikakos and Minister Martin Pakula gave a joint press conference in Melbourne.

They were standing side by side.


Here's part of the ABC's report dated Sunday, 29 March, 2020.

At a press conference on Sunday morning, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said 611 coronavirus cases had been confirmed in metropolitan Melbourne, while 139 were in regional areas.

At the press conference, Victorian Tourism Minister Martin Pakula said six international flights landed in Melbourne on Sunday morning and another was due to arrive later in the day.

"We have secured 5,000 hotel rooms for the purposes of this quarantine arrangement," he said.

Mr Pakula said there were security guards monitoring hotel rooms.

In its 29 March story, the ABC published this photo clearly showing a private security guard involved in offloading quarantine passengers.

Screen Shot 2020-09-25 at 7.33.00 am

The Australian and other outlets also published photos showing the security contractors on that same day, 29 March.

Screen Shot 2020-09-25 at 7.32.23 am

How could Mikakos credibly claim not to know about the security guards until 2 months later?

She was standing next to Minister Pakula at an on-the-record press conference to announce new hotel quarantine arrangements at which Pakula clearly said security guards would be monitoring the rooms.

Not police.  Not ADF.  Not health professionals.  Security guards.

Both Ministers knew as of the morning of Sunday 29 March that security guards had been engaged and someone obviously briefed Pakula so that he could disclose this information in the joint press conference.

I hope the Board of Inquiry holds Minister Mikakos to account over her evidence yesterday.

And many thanks to Seeker of Truth for digging out the ABC's report of that day.

26 MAR - Vic police minister on quarantine "It's been agreed ADF will be engaged to support quarantine measures"

Screen Shot 2020-09-24 at 1.37.52 pm

Following agreement by the National Cabinet, all travellers returning from overseas to Victoria will be placed in enforced quarantine for a self-isolation period of 14-days to slow the spread of coronavirus.

While Victoria has seen some community transmission of this virus, most cases have been the result of travellers returning from overseas who then pass it onto their close contacts.

To ensure this no longer happens, National Cabinet has agreed that all states and territories will put in place enforced quarantine measures.

This will see returned travellers housed in hotels, motels, caravan parks, and student accommodation for their 14-day self-isolation period.

These measures will not only help slow the spread of coronavirus, they will also support hospitality workers who are facing significant challenges during this time.

The new measures will be operational from 11.59pm on Saturday 28 March, with the Victorian Government already securing 5000 hotel rooms.

We will try to accommodate returned travellers close to their homes, but in some instances that may not be possible. Each person will also receive self-isolation care packages of food and other essentials.

The costs of accommodation, public health and security will be covered by each individual jurisdiction, and there will be reciprocal arrangements in place to house the residents of other states and territories.

It has also been agreed that the Australian Defence Force will be engaged to support the implementation of these arrangements.

The Victorian Government is working closely with the Australian Hotels Association and other organisations so all returned travellers can be housed safely and securely.

As we take this extra step to slow the spread of coronavirus, our message to every other Victorian remains the same: Stay at home, protect our health system, save lives.

If you can stay home, you must stay home.

If you don’t, people will die.