Political editor Peter Van Onselen has slammed some Victorian MPs for their “bitching and moaning” after 12 ministers were ordered to self-isolate ahead of Parliament sittings this month. Picture: Supplied.
Political editor Peter Van Onselen has slammed some Victorian MPs for their “bitching and moaning” after 12 ministers were ordered to self-isolate ahead of Parliament sittings this month. Picture: Supplied.

‘Cry me a river’: Whingeing MPs roasted

Victorian politicians complaining about the coronavirus restrictions forcing them to self-isolate before attending federal parliament have been roasted by Network 10's political editor, Peter van Onselen.

Van Onselen was one of the panellists on Insiders this morning. He didn't hold back.

"Can I just say this - cry me a river to all of the Victorian MPs who have to self-isolate," he told host David Speers.
"I have never heard so much whingeing in all my life. Text messages and phone calls. There's only 12 of them out of 50 MPs. I'm not saying it's not hard, I'm not saying that I'd want to do it."

"They'll get travel allowance and all of that," Speers interjected.

"Health workers are doing it," van Onselen continued.

"They (the politicians) expect the rest of the country to do it. And I have never heard so much b****ing and moaning, quite frankly, about having to do what they expect everybody else to do, when they're going to be paid to do it.

"I mean, get over it."

"In defence of some of them, they do have young kids and it's an anxious time in Melbourne," Speers pointed out.

"Same as everyone else," said van Onselen.

"But to leave your family for a month in that situation, where they're not allowed to leave their house with curfews, it's not easy," said Speers.

"I know there's no sympathy

Van Onselen's comments were broadly praised on social media, with users echoing his sentiments.

"Quarantining in a flash hotel, in order to ensure democratic processes, is a privilege not a hardship," one user tweeted.

Another added: "Congratulations @vanOnselenP for speaking the sentiment of most Australians."

Most members of parliament – including Treasurer Josh Frydenberg – have already embraced COVID-19 measures like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage
Most members of parliament – including Treasurer Josh Frydenberg – have already embraced COVID-19 measures like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

Van Onselen's scathing comments come after it was announced that Victorian MPs would be expected to self isolate for a fortnight in order to attend the upcoming sitting of federal parliament, which starts on August 24.

The extraordinary requirements for MPs from Victoria to travel to the nation's capital were outlined in a letter from the Prime Minister to Parliament's Speaker and the Senate President, which warns of the risk of MPs and their staff potentially bringing the virus to Canberra.

The Prime Minister quoted chief health officer Paul Kelly's advice saying that "for the relevant parliamentarians a quarantine period of two weeks in Canberra, or in their home, in addition to COVID-19 testing, should be conducted prior to sitting".

Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed that he planned to self-isolate in Canberra within days.

"I will. No special rules, no exemption for me," he said on Thursday.

"For colleagues, I'll leave that to them. I don't know the decision of individuals in that situation."

Victorian Health Minister Greg Hunt – seen here has his temperature checked – said he’d absolutely be self-isolating. “No exemption for me,” he said on Thursday. Picture: AAP/James Ross.
Victorian Health Minister Greg Hunt – seen here has his temperature checked – said he’d absolutely be self-isolating. “No exemption for me,” he said on Thursday. Picture: AAP/James Ross.

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