Dan’s revenge as road map leaker hunted

 

The Department of Health and Human Services employee who allegedly leaked Victoria's road map to recovery plan to a newspaper is now being investigated by police.

But the decision to investigate the worker has been slammed by critics, who have described the move as an act of revenge and a "witch-hunt".

The drama began on September 3, when the Herald Sunnewspaper, which is owned by News Corp Australia, published details of the top-secret coronavirus recovery document days before Premier Daniel Andrews publicly revealed the official plan.

The documents revealed the state's lockdown would be extended, along with the phased reopening of schools and no clear timeline for the reopening of many businesses.

At the time, Mr Andrews downplayed the significance of the document, insisting it was of "no status" and was out of date - but the final version proved to be almost identical to the leaked draft.

The DHHS staffer who allegedly leaked the road map is being investigated by authorities. Picture: Daniel Pockett/NCA NewsWire
The DHHS staffer who allegedly leaked the road map is being investigated by authorities. Picture: Daniel Pockett/NCA NewsWire

And this week, it was revealed that the DHHS had referred the matter to Victoria Police after an internal investigation, with e-crime squad detectives now on the case.

"Victoria Police can confirm it has received a referral from a government department in relation to unauthorised access of information," Victoria Police said in a statement sent to news.com.au.

"This matter is being investigated by the e-crime squad and as this investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Yesterday, Mr Andrews said the breach was serious, but refused to say whether he believed police should be involved.

"Cabinet in confidence documents, under law, are very important documents that need to be appropriately protected," he said.

Today, the Herald Sun condemned the investigation in a scathing attack.

"It's a disturbing development and appears a vindictive, hypocritical move by a department, and government, that leaks more than the Titanic," reporter Shannon Deery wrote.

"The question must be asked, who was harmed by this leak?

"It posed no security threat, revealed no state secrets, and did nothing to undermine the work of the government."

The move has also been savaged by the Victorian Opposition.

Yesterday, Daniel Andrews said the document leak was a serious breach. Picture: Penny Stephens/NCA NewsWire
Yesterday, Daniel Andrews said the document leak was a serious breach. Picture: Penny Stephens/NCA NewsWire

"Rather than a witch-hunt, Daniel Andrews should be focused on saving the small businesses he's smashed … because of his hotel quarantine COVID-19 second wave," Opposition legal affairs spokesman Edward O'Donohue said, according to The Australian.

Opposition leader Michael O'Brien also attacked the investigation on Twitter, posting that "Labor dismissed the leak of its pathetic road map as irrelevant but now diverts @VictoriaPolice from catching crims to finding a leaker."

 

 

Originally published as Dan's revenge as road map leaker hunted


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