Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (Images: AAP/Mick Tsikas/James Ross)

The war of words that has erupted between Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and federal Defence Minister Linda Reynolds over Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel marks one of the biggest rifts to emerge between federal and state governments since the pandemic began. 

It also reveals just how opaque government decision-making has become during the crisis. 

Andrews told a parliamentary inquiry yesterday that it would be “fundamentally incorrect” to say that there were hundreds of ADF staff on offer to help with the hotel quarantine program, and that “somehow, somebody said no”.