Gladys: ‘Won’t lower myself’ with response to Dan’s ‘spin’
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she "won't lower" herself to argue with Daniel Andrews over the strength of their respective hotel quarantine systems but claimed her Victorian counterpart is "pretty good at spin."
Mr Andrews was forced to defend the revamped Victorian operation after three people in the community separately caught COVID-19 in quarantine hotels in the past week.
With caps on the number of returning travellers allowed into the country each week set to increase on February 15, Mr Andrews indicated Victoria will continue to take fewer people than NSW.
From next week, 3010 overseas returned travellers will fly into Sydney Airport each week.
Mr Andrews on Tuesday indicated his state doesn't have the capacity to handle that number safely.
"We will not be getting to 3000, because I don't believe that 3000 would be safe. That's my judgment, and I'll be accountable for that," he said.
Victoria's cap will increase from 1120 people to 1310 next week.
Asked to justify his comments about Victorian hotel quarantine operating with "higher standards" than NSW, Mr Andrews said: "I can say it because it's true".
On Wednesday, Ms Berejiklian was pressed to respond to the comments on live radio but wouldn't be drawn into a back and forth with the Victorian Premier.
"I think the people of NSW don't want me to lower myself to those types of statements," she told 2GB's Ben Fordham.
"He's pretty good at spin and that's all I'll say".
Ms Berejiklian said the numbers speak for themselves with more than half of Australians returning home from overseas quarantining in Sydney hotels.
"We've done that on behalf of the states and that's all I'll say but is the system in NSW perfect? No, and I wouldn't boast about it.
"I think success is measured by how many people you're able to bring in and how you can keep the community safe," she said.
"I believe in NSW we've demonstrated, because of the number of people we've been able to bring back home, the robustness of it and mistakes will happen, it doesn't matter how good your system is.
Victoria's hotel quarantine system relaunched with stricter protocols after a quarantine leak led to more than 800 deaths during the state's second COVID wave in 2020.
Unlike in NSW, all staff working in Victorian hotel quarantine are employed full time and prevented from taking other jobs.
Originally published as Gladys: 'Won't lower myself' with response to Dan's 'spin'