Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.WatchDuration: 4 minutes 19 seconds4m 19s Journalists pressed the Premier with sustained questioning on the details of the hotel quarantine program.ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelFor a significant portion of today's 90-minute coronavirus briefing in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews was grilled by journalists about how cases leaked out of the state's hotel quarantine program in May.In an at-times-tense press conference, the Premier repeatedly said he did not have answers on key questions about the bungled hotel scheme, but declared that ultimately he would be accountable."I will own those errors. I will be accountable for those errors,'' he said.For weeks, the Government has declined to offer detailed responses to questions about exactly how and when cases from the state's hotel quarantine program infected security guards, who in turn infected families and contributed significantly to the second wave of infections. Some of the first coronavirus cases linked to hotel quarantine were at the Rydges on Swanston.(AAP: Scott Barbour)It has instead said it would be inappropriate to answer questions due to the ongoing inquiry into the program being run by former judge Jennifer Coate, which this week delayed its hearings to August 17 in light of the stage 4 restrictions.The inquiry noted at its outset it was possible that "every case" of coronavirus in Melbourne's second wave of cases could be traced by to infection control breaches in the hotel quarantine program.But Ms Coate made a point on Wednesday of highlighting that the inquiry was "not a court" and therefore there was no issue with public discussion of the matters being examined.She said: "There is no general restriction or prohibition which would prevent a person from commenting publicly or answering questions to which they know the answers on matters which are the subject of examination by this board of inquiry."So today, journalists pursued detailed answers from the Premier with renewed vigour. These were some of his responses.When did the Premier first learn about problems in the program?Mr Andrews said he would have been alerted as a number of hotel quarantine outbreaks were discovered, some of which were publicly revealed at public briefings in late May."I would have been made aware along the way that there had been infections. And that various steps had been taken," he said.But he said the Government only learnt on June 30 that scientific analysis had revealed a large group of cases in Melbourne's second wave of infections were linked to those hotel quarantine outbreaks."I don't think anyone had a sense, certainly I did not have a sense, that we were heading towards a situation where genomic sequencing would confirm at least a significant number of cases had come from that setting," he said.He said hours after learning of the report's findings, he and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton revealed it to the public at that day's press conference and the Government overhauled the hotel quarantine program and launched an independent inquiry.For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus live blog.Who was actually responsible for running the program?This is a question that has still not been clarified, with Health Minister Jenny Mikakos previously stating her Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) did not oversee the security contracts.Today, Mr Andrews said there were multiple agencies who had been tasked with running the system and "lines of authority and accountability" were not clear, which was why he set up the inquiry.The Premier said he did not have the answers to the questions he was being asked and the inquiry would find those answers. "Then I'll be accountable for those errors, mistakes that were made," he said."It would be wrong to think that I'd been briefed about the problem that we've all become aware of."We need to get these answers. If I had them, I would provide them to you. I simply don't."In terms of exactly who has made decisions at an operational level, they are some of the questions I simply don't have the answers to."But the Premier was clear that the buck stopped with him, although he declined to say if he could end up resigning over the issue."I, as leader of the state and leader of the Government, will be accountable," he said.Read more about coronavirus:Charting the pandemic: These numbers show how dire it has become in VictoriaHow Melbourne's stage 4 restrictions compare to the world's toughest lockdownsWhy can't you answer simple questions about the chain of responsibility for the program?The Premier insisted that he was not trying to avoid accountability or hide behind the inquiry's work."The judicial inquiry has not been established for the avoidance of scrutiny. Quite the opposite," he said. Premier Daniel Andrews says he accepts ultimate responsibility for any failures in the hotel quarantine program, but refused be drawn on details.(AAP: James Ross)"We don't have answers to questions that we need answered. That's why we have an independent process, well-resourced, well-equipped, well-skilled to go and get those answers for us."That is the appropriate thing to do. The alternative would've been no inquiry,
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