Confirmation that the Andrews Labor Government doesn’t possess the legal powers to charge return travellers for their hotel quarantine stay is a farcical restart to hotel quarantine in Victoria.
On late Friday afternoon, the Andrews Labor Government confirmed returned travellers would be charged at the same rate as NSW for their 14 day mandatory quarantine, yet is only now seeking to pass an urgent amendment to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act to enable guests to be charged.
Despite having several months and successful models across Australia to learn from, Daniel Andrews still hasn’t got it right and is now scrambling new legislation to clean up his mess.
With flights arriving from Monday morning, serious questions remain about the legal ability of Daniel Andrews to charge guests for their stay, how many will get a free ride and at what cost to taxpayers.
This 11th hour legislative change follows ongoing confusion as to the arrival date, number and role of ADF personnel within Labor’s relaunched hotel quarantine program. Despite Police Minister Lisa Neville stating ADF would be arriving by Thursday, only a portion of them had arrived late Friday afternoon with the remainder to join the program into next week – after the first returned travellers land on Monday morning.
With Victorians still scarred from Labor’s first botched hotel quarantine program and Daniel Andrews yet again unable to get the basics right, what confidence can Victorians have that hotel quarantine will be any different this time around?
Comments attributable to David Southwick MP, Shadow Minister for Police & Community Safety:
“With less than 72 hours before arrivals land, Labor’s latest hotel quarantine program is in disarray with no legal power to charge hotel guests.
“Only Daniel Andrews would announce a $3,000 bill for hotel quarantine guests only to realise he doesn’t have the legal power to charge people.
“How much more taxpayer funds will Daniel Andrews be spending due to his complete failure to prepare? Labor’s management of returned travellers is farcical.”