Sky News host Peta Credlin grills Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews again
Just days after Credlin, a Liberal insider and Sky News host, grilled the Premier over phone records that hadn’t been released to the hotel quarantine inquiry, she returned to heap more pressure on Mr Andrews after the bombshell records prompted Victoria’s top public servant Chris Eccles to resign on Monday morning.
The phone records were requested by the hotel quarantine program Board of Inquiry over the weekend to try to solve the mystery six-minute window where former Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton learnt private security would be guarding overseas arrivals.
Mr Eccles resigned after learning it was he who called Mr Ashton at 1.17pm on March 27 after previously telling the inquiry he could not recall if he phoned Mr Ashton.
During the eight or nine-minute exchange, Credlin questioned Mr Andrews on the evidence of Mr Eccles and Mr Ashton and why the Premier’s chief of staff hadn’t provided any evidence or a statement to the inquiry.
“Did your chief of staff, while you were in National Cabinet, and your secretary had departed at 12 noon, in that period of time did your chief of staff have conversations with anyone in relation to private security before the National Cabinet decision was known publicly?” Credlin asked Mr Andrews.
The Premier responded that he was “not quite sure” what she was asking.
“You have just put it to me that she did not know until after the meeting broke,” he responded.
“No, I’m not putting that to you,” Credlin said.
“You did put that to me,” Mr Andrews fired back.
Credlin went on to explain that the Premier’s chief of staff was told by Mr Eccles about the decision to establish hotel quarantine and Mr Eccles said that in his evidence when he left the room at noon.
“I’m still unclear,” Mr Andrews said.
“You are free to make long statements but if you have a question, please ask me the question, I want to be as accurate as I can be.
“I need to know what I am being asked and then I am more than happy to try and answer you.”
At the end of the heated exchange there was a long pause until a journalist asked the Premier a question on a different topic.
But Credlin returned later in the more than hour-long briefing to again demand answers from Mr Andrews on hotel quarantine and what he told Mr Eccles before he left the National Cabinet meeting at noon.
“I can assure you I did not advise him or discuss with him doing things of a deeply operational nature. No such conversation ever occurred nor has any evidence been led to suggest that,” Mr Andrews said.