It’s become a fixture of Victorian life for the past few months, but for the first time in 120 days Premier Dan Andrews will not be delivering a press conference tomorrow.
Andrews’ daily press addresses, for better or worse, have provided some semblance of stability for Victorians throughout the devastating second coronavirus wave that threatened to sweep across Melbourne. But today the Premier announced he would be taking a long-overdue day off tomorrow, handing the reigns temporarily over to Health Minister Martin Foley.
The Victorian Premier has appeared before press cameras for 120 consecutive days now, in lengthy appearances that routinely stretched well beyond 90 minutes in duration.
In not appearing tomorrow, it will be the first time since July 1st that the Premier hasn’t directly delivered a daily briefing to both the press and the viewing pubic.
Andrews confirmed the move with a very brief note of “I will not see you tomorrow” before confirming that the Health Minister will instead deliver tomorrow’s daily briefing.
It’s not confirmed at this stage whether Andrews plans to fully take tomorrow off, or whether other commitments are preventing him from conducting tomorrow’s press briefing. However news of the long-awaited break has already sent social media into a spin.
“I will not see you tomorrow,” announced Vic Premier Daniel Andrews at the end of today’s press briefing. The boss finally gives himself a day off.
— Rebecca Urban (@RurbsOz) October 30, 2020
THE PREMIER IS HAVING A DAY OFF TOMORROW
— Benita Kolovos ???? (@benitakolovos) October 30, 2020
— Ned Balme (@NedBalmeLives) October 30, 2020
— ???? Nicki – #istandwithdan (@sunshineaus78) October 30, 2020
“Any other questions? If not, I will not see you tomorrow, the Health Minister” At that point I started ????????????????????????????????#DansDayOff!!#COVID19Vic#ThanksDAN#ThanksCath
.@DanielAndrewsMP, have a lovely day with your family! ????
— ????Résistez Maintenant! (@MdmAbsentMinded) October 30, 2020
Andrews is still yet to address scrutiny regarding his Government’s decision to green-light the removal of the sacred Djab Wurrung Directions tree, which was cut down despite pending court action while the state’s eyes were on the Premier as he delivered the easing of restrictions address on Monday. More information on what can be done to support action in opposition of those decisions can be found here.
That said, after nearly four months of continuous work fronting the public and facing increasingly combative questioning throughout a global pandemic crisis, one day off seems reasonably well-earned at this point in time.
At this stage it’s not known whether Dan Andrews intends to take the entire weekend off, or whether he’ll return to daily press briefings come Sunday.
The Premier is due to address the next stage of removing lockdown restrictions on November 8th.
Getty Images / Darrian Traynor