Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has used his first press conference to thank his supporters and take a swipe at “vile rumours” being spread about the circumstances surrounding his injury.
The premier returned to work today after spending 111 days recovering from broken ribs and spinal damage suffered by falling on wet stairs in Sorrento, on the Mornington Peninsula, in March.
Mr Andrews today thanked his colleagues, medical professionals and his family for ongoing support during his recovery.
“It’s great to be back after a lengthy absence, one that was required in terms of a very serious injury,” he said.
“I want to thank Cath and the kids, I want to thank my medical team, I want to thank every Victorian that has sent me cards and notes and best wishes.
“I want to thank Deputy Premier James Merlino who has done an astounding job.”
The premier said the well-wishes and support he received “meant the world” to him.
Some details about the premier’s condition were unknown at the time of his accident and a Liberal MP earlier this month asked a series of questions about who owned the holiday home where Mr Andrews and his family were staying, who called the ambulance, and whether police had interviewed the premier.
Mr Andrews said despite releasing a statement yesterday about his injury in his own words, putting an end to the “vile stories” about the incident may not be possible.
However, the premier did not appear fazed by the “fools” who spread misinformation about his injury.
“People who make up their own facts, you’re best not really to get into an argument with them,” he said.
“It’s very difficult to win those arguments. People know me, they know my work, they know my background. They know that I love my family and I love my state.
“Never get into an argument with a fool.”
The premier said the “vile, wicked” rumours circulating in the media had been “very hurtful” to his family.
“It is very, very hurtful when kids are being taunted at school,” he said.
“It is very hurtful when you see some of this stuff printed. And I’m not speaking for myself. I’m speaking on behalf of my family.”