Senator slams Andrews’ ‘smear’ on Victorians

Senator slams Andrews’ ‘smear’ on Victorians

Joe Kelly – The Australian – Sunday 18 October 2020

Liberal Senator James Paterson has branded Daniel Andrews an “authoritarian leader” who had smeared his own citizens as “enemies of the state” after the Labor Premier lashed out at senior Victorians serving in the Morrison government.

Speaking on Saturday, Mr Andrews angrily rejected appeals from federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and federal Health Minister Greg Hunt for the economy to be reopened immediately after the state experienced a drop in new COVID-19 cases.

Mr Andrews also said there were members of the federal government “who are from Victoria, but I don’t think they are for Victoria” and argued they would inevitably attack his reopening strategy as part of a “political exercise.”

Senator Paterson hit back at the comments, saying a democratic leader should “never use appallingly divisive ‘you’re with us or against us’ rhetoric in response to entirely legitimate criticism of the failings of their government.”

“That’s the kind of rhetoric we would expect to hear from an authoritarian leader. Sadly it appears the power has gone to the Premier’s head and under pressure he is showing, increasingly, intolerance of reasonable examination of his many missteps,” Senator Paterson said.

“Thousands of Victorians, some more prominent than others, have been rightly critical of the shocking public policy failings of the Andrews government and the enormous cost it has inflicted on them.”

“None of these people are ‘against Victoria’. They want the best for Victoria and Victorians and they are entitled to expect better from their state government.”

“Daniel Andrews should be focused on finding safe ways to live with the virus, and open our economy and society up again as the NSW government has done, instead of smearing his own citizens as being enemies of the state.”

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