Love him or loathe him, Daniel Andrews has had a busy week.
After putting short stay rentals to the sword and taking down Sam Newman’s comments urging Aussies to boo the Welcome to Country at the AFL grand final, it’s safe to say he’s earned a cheeky dart.
The Herald Sun reported that it’s long been an “open rumour” that Andrews likes a sneaky ciggie. Now, a slyly recorded video from out the back of a function has confirmed the Victorian Premier is partial to a puff.
The footage was first shared by the Herald Sun in an article throwing back to Joe Hockey’s budget cigar and Bob Hawke’s devil-may-care legacy.
On Thursday, Andrews joined the chorus of criticism levelled at Newman, defending Welcome to Country practices at official events.
On the same day, he clashed with a reporter over his government’s “modest” 7.5 per cent Airbnb tax that has sparked furious backlash from the short-stay accommodation industry.
“How can you say it’s a modest charge when it’s the highest short-stay tax in the world?” Mr Andrews was asked at a press conference on Wednesday.
“Well it’s a modest charge,” the Premier said.
The reporter noted that other jurisdictions had put the tax at 2-5 per cent and claimed Victoria’s was “the highest in the world”.
“Well, $7.50 per $100 is a modest charge,” Mr Andrews said.
“It’s not modest,” the reporter insisted.
“It’s a modest charge and I’ll say it 100 times if you want. We may not agree on that but it’s a modest charge,” Mr Andrews said.
The reporter asked if it was “disappointing you’ve got all the property group lobby heads here” but there was “no lobby group for mum-and-dad Victorians who want to rent out a property and make a bit of extra cash”.
“And why do you believe that they won’t be able to do that? On what basis do you believe that $7.50 per $100 will mean they won’t be able to do that?” Mr Andrews said.
Under the plan the levy “will be set at 7.5 per cent of the short-stay accommodation platforms’ revenue”, the government announcement said.
It will begin on January 1, 2025.