Health Minister must reveal Police concerns on botched hotel quarantine

The Liberal Nationals are calling on the Health Minister to reveal Police concerns around private security running Daniel Andrews’ botched hotel quarantine program.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton today revealed on 3AW that Police raised concerns, both via email and at meetings, in relation to the use and performance of private security contractors at quarantine hotels with the Department of Health and Human Services.

These reports follow multiple concerns raised by frontline officers in early April with Victoria Police’s Operation Soteria head, outlining issues with inadequate supervision relating to exercise and other contact amongst hotel guests. 

The Andrews Labor Government’s botched hotel quarantine program has resulted in the second wave of coronavirus in Victoria and has caused the harshest lockdowns in the country.

Earlier this month, the Premier stripped responsibly of hotel quarantine from the Health Minister Jenny Mikakos following countless failures.

Victoria is not in this position due to bad luck, but due to bad decisions by the Andrews Labor Government including the botched hotel quarantine program and shortfalls in contact tracing.

Today, I have written to Chief Commissioner Patton requesting full details of these emails and that all relevant correspondence on this matter be provided to the Opposition and made available in the public domain. 

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police, David Southwick:

“The Health Minister must come clean on what concerns Police had with hotel quarantine in the early days of the botched program.

“Hundreds of thousands of Victorians are now without a job and are experiencing the harshest lockdown laws we have ever seen due to the Andrews Labor Government’s failures, and they deserve to know what concerns Police had with the program and why they were ignored. 

“If these Police concerns were acted on early by the Health Minister, it may have prevented Victoria’s devastating second wave and saved lives.”

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