Australia Brett Sutton defends Canberra trip
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Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has defended his decision to fly to Canberra for a work event while much of the state were still , saying it was necessary to attend in person.
Mr Sutton has been criticised this week by the Victorian Liberals, who said that although the trip did not break any official rules, it was setting a bad example.
"We can't have visitors, we can't have people coming to our own homes, and yet the chief health officer, who's providing advice to the government, buzzes off to Canberra to a glitzy award night," Liberal health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier told 9News on Thursday.
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"I think it says a lot about the priorities of the Chief Health Officer and of the Andrews government."
While Mr Sutton defended his actions, he also expressed his regret, saying that he wished he had not been the focus of the event.
Video: Brett Sutton Canberra trip 'hypocritical': Victorian Shadow Health Minister (Sky News Australia)
"It was an event held over two days to honour medical researchers," he said.
"You can't really honour people for their fantastic research without being there in person."
"Maybe, if I could have my time again... I was disappointed that the distraction was about me and not about that important meeting."
Victoria records one COVID-19 case as Victorians stay at home over long weekend
Victoria records one new local case of coronavirus, as the community is told high testing rates are needed if the state is to stamp out its latest outbreak.Victoria has recorded one new locally acquired case of COVID-19.
Acting Victoria Premier James Merlino also weighed in on the trip, labelling Mr Sutton's decision "appropriate".
"It is an appropriate work-related event for our Chief Health Officer within the rules that all Victorians abide by and I think it was appropriate," Mr Merlino said.
"He is a member of the national body around medical research. He's entitled to go there."
"The Federal Health Minister says the criticism of the Victorian CHO was unfair in these circumstances."
Victoria's, with people now able to gather outside, and mask-wearing also no longer mandatory.
The state hasof in the last day, a close contact of a previously reported infection.
Raft of restrictions to ease in Victoria .
Restrictions will ease across Victoria from 11.59pm Thursday as the state records no new local COVID-19 cases.Acting Premier James Merlino today confirmed public gatherings will be allowed with up to 50 people and household gatherings will be permitted with up to 15 visitors to a home per day, including dependents.