Victorian Liberal MP Tim Wilson has accused State Premier Daniel Andrews of misusing public funds hear the herald And Australian that employees of Andrews’ private office were given login details, allegedly to allow them to secretly spy on tax-payer funded focus groups run by a former Labor pollster.
“Daniel Andrews’ office workers were given logs to spy on taxpayer-funded focus groups. There’s no place Andrews wouldn’t go,” Wilson said Statement He posted on Twitter on August 1.
“Misusing public money to take advantage of your labor machine stinks. This vote should have been paid for by Labor, not the taxpayer.”
Wilson’s allegations come after the Herald Sun, and The Australian ran reports alleging that during the height of Victoria’s 112-day lockdown in 2020, former Labor pollster and political adviser John Armitage of QDOS Research conducted a fortnightly survey How the Victorian public rated the Andrews government’s handling of the pandemic, including how the public felt about Daniel Andrews.
The Australian alleged that Armitage’s research was instrumental in shaping the Premier’s strategy, tone and language during the 2020 lockdown, which included his attendance at more than 100 press conferences.
QDOS works with the government “on behavior change campaigns,” according to the company Website.
Since 2016, Armitage has been paid $2 million in taxpayer funds to sign a five-year deal to monitor public opinion of Victorians.
According to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee of the Victorian Parliament, nearly $800,000 has been spent on Premiere’s Facebook advertising over five years, reported hear the herald.
Heavily modified email between GDOS and the Office of the Premier, obtained and published by Australian, also purportedly show that the Premier’s Private Office (PPO) had participated in the drafting and approval of questions for the surveys.
The survey also included scoring the leadership of the government out of 10.
Members of the PPO, including Premier’s Chief of Staff Lizzie Ratcliffe, were also invited to watch the live stream of focus groups conducted by QDOS.
“Hi (revised) and Lissie, here’s the Zoom link for tonight’s group (women living in South Yarra),” Sue Lucomitis, director of research at QDOS, wrote on May 25, 2020.
The DPOS and Victoria’s Premier and Cabinet Department have been contacted by The Epoch Times for comment.
News From – The Epoch Times