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One of Daniel Andrews‘ best known pandemic-era aides, Covid Commander Jeroen Weimar, is expected to be appointed to an important new role – but the rumour has been met with less than unanimous approval.
Mr Weimar, who became an unlikely sex symbol as he presided over Victoria’s day-to-day handling of Covid, is expected to be announced as the CEO of the organising committee for the 2026 Commonwealth Games in the state.
The $500,000-a-year appointment is set to be announced as early as next week, the Herald-Sun reports.
But not everyone is enthusiastic about the news, with the paper reporting some sporting figures feel Mr Weimar’s role in shutting down sport in Victoria for two years makes him unsuitable for the role.
‘He, alongside Brett Sutton and Daniel Andrews, lectured us for two years and tried to kill off sport in this state,’ a ‘sporting insider’ was quoted as saying.
‘I’m not sure sport wants him anywhere near the Games. Especially when you look at him, and his experience.’
Jeroen Weimar (pictured) is expected to be announced next week as the new CEO of the organising committee for Victoria’s 2026 Commonwealth Games
Another source characterised the appointment as a ‘reward’ for Mr Weimar’s role in policing the stringent public health measures introduced by Victoria during the pandemic, and wondered whether his renowned logistics expertise would overcome the fact he was ‘starting from a long way behind’.
Mr Weimar announced he would quit his Covid commander post last week as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews continued to wind back the state’s pandemic measures, including mandatory masks and vaccinated economy rules.
He had been responsible for the coordination of the state’s testing, tracing and vaccination schemes .
Victoria’s ‘sex symbol’ Covid Commander Jeroen Weimar (pictured) recently stepped down from his role at the helm of the state’s pandemic response as Covid restrictions continued to be wound back
Mr Weimar had been in the Covid coordination role since July 2020, after the state’s hotel quarantine debacle, and said he would take time off before returning to the public service later in the year.
Upon his appointment, Mr Weimar and Victoria’s top doctor, Brett Sutton, were hailed as ‘sex symbols’ by some quarters of the population.
His resignation from the role came after announcements the bulk of pandemic rules in Australia’s two biggest states’ would be scrapped, including abolishing close-contact isolation requirements.
Some have characterised the expected appointment of Mr Weimar (left) as a ‘reward’ for his role in carrying out the Covid public health measures of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ (pictured right) government
Silver medalist Jessica Ashwood (left) of Australia, gold medalist Ariarne Titmus (centre) and bronze medalist Kiah Melverton (right) pose during the medal ceremony for the Women’s 800m Freestyle Final on day five of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Victoria will host the games in 2026 across multiple cities and towns
Victoria was only announced as the venue for the games in early April.
The state will host a ‘decentralised’ event with regional hubs including Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland among the venues for 16 sports.
‘This will be a Commonwealth Games like no other. We promised we wouldn’t be doing a re-run of 2006, as successful as that was,’ Premier Daniel Andrews said at the time of the announcement.
‘This is also about creating jobs, some nearly 4,000 jobs during the Commonwealth Games and some 3,000 enduring jobs thereafter.’
The 2026 games will mark the sixth time the event has been held in Australia following the games in Sydney, 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982, Melbourne in 2006, and the Gold Coast in 2018.