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Cringeworthy moment Australia’s $533,000 taxpayer-funded man awkwardly walks in circles as he’s confronted by a Channel Seven reporter

Daniel Andrews’ boss of the failed bid to host the Commonwealth Games clumsily avoided a reporter’s question when confronted about his paycheque.

Jeroen Weimar was questioned by a Channel Seven reporter on Friday about a taxpayer-funded $160,000 payout for his part in the Commonwealth Games flop.

But under the pressure of the questioning, Mr Weimar bizarrely refused to answer – and instead walked away in silence before circling back to himself.

Mr Weimar, who as Covid commander was the face of the Victorian response to Covid-19, was appointed CEO of the Games organizing committee in June 2022.

Following the cancellation of the Games, then Prime Minister Andrews appointed Mr Weimar to a new role as Deputy Minister for Housing Implementation – leading the state’s housing policy – which comes with a salary of $533,000.

The reporter pressed Mr. Weimar about his huge paychecks, but despite her persistence, he declined to comment.

Deputy Secretary for Housing Implementation Jeroen Weimar was confronted by a reporter on Friday

Mr Weimar declined to answer questions about the money he received after Victoria's Commonwealth Games were canceled or his new $533,000 salary

Mr Weimar declined to answer questions about the money he received after Victoria’s Commonwealth Games were canceled or his new $533,000 salary

Mr Weimar faces significant criticism over the money he earns as a top bureaucrat amid Australia’s cost of living.

The reporter asked whether he deserved such a significant payout after the Games were cancelled, whether he understood why Victorians were angry and whether it bothered him to be the subject of controversy.

To each of the questions, Mr. Weimr responded “no comment” before attempting to walk away as the reporter continued her pursuit.

“How much work have you done in your current role,” she asked.

“No comment,” Mr. Weimar repeated.

Mr Weimar now works in the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and industry experts claim he is underperforming in the new housing role.

Labour’s target for new homes approved is 80,000 a year, but only 54,000 have been approved by 2024, six months into Mr Weimer’s term.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan defended the department, claiming the state ‘still in the very first phase of the rollout of the new housing policy.

Mr Weimar was once the Victorian Covid-19 response commander before being appointed CEO of the Games organizing committee in June 2022.

Mr Weimar was once the Victorian Covid-19 response commander before being appointed CEO of the Games organizing committee in June 2022.

Michael O’Brien, the Victorian shadow attorney general, said Mr Weimar should be removed from his position.

“I think the time is right for Jeroen Weimar,” Mr. O’Brien said told 9News.

“This is a man who has made a mess of Victoria’s public transport, the COVID response, who has made a mess of the Commonwealth Games and now he has been seen literally running away to answer to Victorians.”

READ MORE: Canceled games are state’s ‘biggest setback in decades’

From left to right are Victorian Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan, Regional Development Minister Harriet Shing, Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee CEO Jeroen Weimar and Premier Daniel Andrews, pictured on Tuesday, July 18, 2023

From left to right are Victorian Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan, Regional Development Minister Harriet Shing, Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee CEO Jeroen Weimar and Premier Daniel Andrews, pictured on Tuesday, July 18, 2023