Victorian state leader Daniel Andrews will not release speech notes from an address he delivered to Chinese dignitaries at Melbourne’s Park Hyatt on June 6.
The Labor premier’s decision comes after a reporter from the Herald Sun newspaper was barred from entering the Post-Pandemic China-Australia Economic Cooperation Forum, where Andrews spoke for 30 minutes.
There is now pressure on the Victorian premier to release a transcript of his speech—standard practice for political leaders.
“I didn’t use notes. I spoke off the cuff,” he told reporters on June 7.
“It’s often my practice, to the enduring frustration of my staff, I didn’t necessarily refer to them.”
Andrews said he would have allowed media to attend but said the organisers were against it.
“Is there even a need to ask me whether I support the media having access to me,” he said. “I’ve done more press conferences than most, perhaps more than anyone.”
“If you have a challenge or a problem or issues in relation to the event, then the event organisers would be the logical place to go.”
Andrews notably fronted the media for 120 consecutive days during the COVID-19 pandemic.