‘Thanks for your service, liars’: did Dan Andrews go too far?


Victoria Police Address Media In Regards To Sydney Hostage Incident

The brutal dismissal of the CEO and chairman of WorkSafe in Victoria over a water contamination scare left some breathless. Did the Premier go too far in publicly calling them liars?

It’s not the first time a government has sacked the head of an agency. But the ferocity and public nature of the dismissal of WorkSafe’s CEO and chairman in Victoria last week caught some by surprise.

“They cannot explain how they got this wrong,” Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) fumed in a press conference on Tuesday. “I will not be lied to, and I will not accept incompetence.”

Earlier that day, Finance Minister Robin Scott met with Denise Cosgrove, the chief executive, and chair David Krasnostein over water contamination at the Country Fire Authority’s training facility in Fiskville. In December, WorkSafe told the minister it wasn’t aware of any health and safety concerns. Now the pair told the Minister they couldn’t confirm whether the body had tested the water.

Scott immediately sought their resignations and received them. “An assurance of safety was given. The Fiskville findings prove otherwise,” he said in a statement, before the Premier’s assault:

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.