Labor blocks release of hotel quarantine forensic audit

A major independent audit into the use of security services used in Victoria’s shambolic Hotel Quarantine Program in 2020 will remain secret and blocked from the Victorian community.

This morning, the Andrews Labor Government informed the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) that the Parliament’s request to publicly release the forensic audit will be refused.

In February 2021, the Minority Report into the Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic found that:

“The Andrews Labor Government has potentially allowed vulnerable workers to be ripped off and subjected to wage theft on a fully funded Victorian Government program.

Clearly there were no safeguards or oversight put in place by DJRP to ensure the private security guards were receiving their minimum legal entitlements.

This was despite the Andrews Labor Government’s full knowledge that the private security industry is notorious for underpaying and exploiting workers in the industry.”

With multiple failures evident in Victoria’s pandemic response, the Liberal Nationals also believe that the PAEC inquiry should be reopened immediately. Such failures include:

  • Small businesses currently suffering and forgotten;
  • Calls to mental health services at very high levels;
  • Taxpayers still picking up the bill for staff at hotels that have no quarantine guests; and
  • Problems with contact tracing and QR codes.

In addition, since December 2020 the Andrews Labor Government has kept secret the review into Victoria’s private security industry.

Daniel Andrews is obsessed with spin, coverups and is more concerned with his own political interests than other of ordinary Victorian families and businesses.

Only the Victorian Liberal Nationals will hold a Royal Commission into Victoria’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and give Victorians the clear answers they deserve.

Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Police, David Southwick:

“With the Labor Government still under investigation by WorkSafe for the shambolic mismanagement of hotel quarantine, we now have another investigation being kept under lock and key to save the government.

“Daniel Andrews may have told the Coate Inquiry he didn’t recall almost thirty times, but his actions today shows he is now covering it up.

“It doesn’t take a $2 million taxpayer-funded political poll to reveal this government is guilty of coverups, mismanagement and delays.”

Comments attributable to the Deputy Chair of Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, Richard Riordan:

“Daniel Andrews has told Victorians that coming forward and telling the truth is the most important thing and its precious, but this seems not to apply to his government itself.

“The Andrews spin masters continue to sit on crucial information that the community wants to know and if Daniel Andrews won’t tell the Parliament the truth, then there is no hope Victorians will ever know what happened with the disaster of 2020.”

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