Video has emerged of four Victorian Labor MPs drinking and dancing at a Bali nightclub on the eve of the state’s bushfire crisis. Health Minister Jenny Mikakos was secretly filmed partying with backbenchers Steve Dimopolous, Nick Staikos and Jackson Taylor at Seminyak’s Motel Mexicola on December 28; just as bushfires in East Gippsland started to flare.
Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien seized on the footage, saying the Health Minister should have been at work as East Gippsland was evacuated. “The evacuation was called on the 29th of December, how long did it take Jenny Mikakos to get out of a nightclub, get on a plane and get back to work?” he said. But Ms Mikakos defended her actions, saying she began trying to return to Melbourne on December 29. “I was being briefed by my department and my office the whole time I was overseas, and was very prepared to cut my leave short and be back on duty,” she said.
Premier Daniel Andrews also backed his MPs. “I was on leave on the 28th, I came back I think the 29th,” he said.”I’m the Premier, and I think it’s appropriate that Ministers have some leave.” Bentleigh MP Nick Staikos said the publication of the footage by the Herald Sun “crossed a line” “The biggest revelation is that I’m a bad dancer, and I’m just glad they didn’t get footloose,” he said.
In the video, the MPs can been seen dancing to Zorba the Greek and Katy Perry’s Firework, while at one point Mr Dimopolous can be seen having alcohol poured into his mouth.
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