Who in the Andrews Labor Government had delegated authority to enter into a $30M non-contested contract?
Around lunchtime on Friday, 27 March the Prime Minister announced that national cabinet had decided all international travellers returning to Australia would go into compulsory hotel quarantine.
The Andrews Victorian government released this statement, including this important point:
It has been agreed that the Australian Defence Force will be engaged to support the implementation of these arrangements.
At 1.12PM Victorian Police Commissioner Graham Ashton sent a text message to the Australian Federal Police chief Reece Kershaw, “Mate. Question. Why wouldn’t AFP guard people at The hotel??”
By 1.22PM Chief Commissioner Ashton had his answer.
The AFP wouldn't be "guarding people at the hotel".
Between 1.12PM and 1.22PM Ashton was set straight by The Andrews Labor Government.
At 1.16PM Ashton texted Chris Eccles, Andrews Chief of Staff.
“Chris I am getting word from Canberra for a plan whereby arrivals from overseas are to be subjected to enforced isolation from tomorrow. The suggestion is Victorian arrivals are conveyed to a hotel Somewhere where they are guarded by police for 14 days. Are you aware of anything in this regard?? Graham”.
As you can see from Ashton's texts with AFP chief Kershaw above, by 1.22PM, six minutes after asking Andrews chief of staff "are you aware of anything in this regard??", Ashton was 'with the program'.
Private security would be "guarding people at the hotel".
From lunchtime Friday afternoon, when Andrews specifically acknowledged the national cabinet agreement that the ADF would be engaged, until 0001 hours Sunday, 29 March - someone with the delegated authority to commit the state of Victoria to a $30M commitment approved a non-contestable, non-tendered contract with an unknown, untested and frankly dodgy company.
Sound like fertile ground for a motivated corruption commission?
(Colourful ministerial identity Martin Pakula gets the word from the horse's mouth)