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More Victorian quarantine mess. The government puts people at risk. Where is WorkSafe?

Sunday, May 09, 2021

If you’ve been following the Victorian Hotel quarantine ‘mess’, you’ll be aware that we started our adverts on top rating Victorian radio station 3AW on 21 April. Those adverts finish this coming week. They simply call for WorkSafe Victoria to do its job and prosecute!

Here’s the advert:

First. Thanks to everyone who’s been contributing to keep our campaign going. Every $ counts.

What we couldn’t predict when we started the adverts is the explosion of more ‘scandals’ about the continuing failures of the Victorian program. Media across the board have been reporting gob-smacking stories. Here’s just a taste of what’s been revealed in the last two weeks:
  • Needle sharing: Quarantine residents had to undertake blood tests. Unknown to them, the administrative procedures were so bad that needles were shared between residents. The serious infection risk is scary. The report comes from Safe Care Victoria, a Victorian government body.
  • Head Quarantine Control Executive breached his own procedures. The Australian exposed ‘hidden’ documents where infection control breaches have/are occurring in the current Victorian program. This includes the head of Infection control refusing to comply with his own orders when visiting hotels. He’s been ‘stood down’ with the government saying the breaches were ‘only minor.’ Here’s the ABC report on the breaches.
  • Long list of breaches. Both The Australian and The Age reveal leaked documents that reported ‘months of bungles and mismanagement’ in the quarantine system detailing ‘sloppy practices, untrained staff and poor hygiene.’
The Victorian government is now into its fourth attempt to run hotel quarantine. The first and second attempts led to 801 deaths. The third attempt led to an outbreak and lockdown. This fourth attempt is (again) proving to be riddled with incompetence at every level.

The point that we make and the reason for our campaign is that WorkSafe Victoria is the only authority with the power to do something NOW. It has almost unrestrained investigative power and ability to prosecute quickly.

Prosecution is essential because it’s the only thing that will force change to the management of the quarantine health system. This is a government and health system in crisis and WorkSafe can do something about it.

While WorkSafe sits back watching the unfolding management mess, all Victorians and Australians remain at high risk due to the Victorian government’s failure.

We’re working on more plans with our campaign. Campaign details are here.

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