New boss and new management needed for failed hotel quarantine

Confirmation that the Delta variant of COVID-19 was leaked from hotel quarantine again highlights the need for a complete management overhaul of Labor’s failed quarantine program that was recently revealed as having the worst leak rate in the nation.

Analysis of Australia’s hotel quarantine breaches by COVIDLive data analyst Anthony Macali shows that since hotel quarantine restarted in October, Victoria had the worst leak rate of any state or territory. Victoria has had a breach rate from COVID positive cases of 1 in 42 compared to the national average of 1 in 105 cases.

This latest outbreak represents the fourth known COVID-19 outbreak or spread since the establishment of COVID Quarantine Victoria (CQV) under former Corrections Commissioner, Emma Cassar.

Only weeks prior, the manager and infection control boss of the same hotel linked to the latest Delta outbreak were fired after more than 51 procedure breaches, where 15 infection control breaches occurred under their watch.  

Despite Daniel Andrews chopping and changing management and structure time and again, the same old problems continue to persist and Victoria continues to have the highest rate of hotel quarantine leaks of any jurisdiction in the nation.

In stark contrast, New South Wales has returned almost four times as many travellers, had fewer than a quarter of total infections and less than a third days in lockdown when compared to Victoria.

Daniel Andrews must put a stop to his failed go-it-alone management approach to hotel quarantine, look to the success of other states and place an infection control expert at the head of CQV.

A new stand-alone quarantine facility funded by the Federal Government is still earmarked to be run by the same Victorian team that have failed to contain the breaches. It highlights the problem that changing the facility alone doesn’t fix the management issues that have continued to occur in Victoria.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Crime Prevention, David Southwick:

“Infection control breaches have caused hotel quarantine leaks, not guests escaping like runaway prisoners – so why do we have a Corrections Commissioner running these facilities?

“Labor must ensure we have the right leadership and highest calibre staff who implement all appropriate procedures to plug the holes in Victoria’s hotel quarantine program.

“The Andrews Labor Government needs to stop trying to re-invent the wheel and implement the successful models used in New South Wales and other states here.”

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