Dan Andrews’ 30 failures that led to fourth Covid-19 lockdown


Daniel Andrews is pictured announcing he will return to work on June 28 after breaking his back

Daniel Andrews is pictured announcing he will return to work on June 28 after breaking his back 

The Victorian Opposition has listed 30 ‘fundamental mistakes’ made by the state government as it calls for another inquiry into its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

After Victoria’s fourth crippling lockdown ended last week, the Liberal Nationals want to re-open a parliamentary inquiry which was suspended in late 2020.

The inquiry heard public evidence from Premier Daniel Andrews, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton – but no-one could say who made the decision to use private security instead of police to guard quarantine hotels, a key reason for the state’s 112-day lockdown last winter.

Victorian Liberal leader Michael O’Brien accused the government of making 30 mistakes since then and says another inquiry is required to find out why.

The list includes the fact that Victoria failed to introduce a uniform QR code check-in system until May 28, five months after NSW, a delay which hampered contact tracers in their battle contain the latest outbreak.

The opposition also slammed the government over yet another hotel quarantine breach after it was revealed the Delta Indian variant of the virus got into the community from a returned traveller in a Melbourne hotel.

Mr O’Brien also listed the ‘alarmist language’ used by Professor Sutton – who was criticised for ‘inciting fear’ by describing the virus as a ‘beast’ – as a major failure.

He said only 13 per cent of small businesses were supported during the state’s fourth shut down and slammed the government for releasing 5,000 prisoners early because they spent extra time in their cells during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Staff at the Novotel Ibis Hotel in Melbourne are seen wearing face masks on June 9 during lockdown

Staff at the Novotel Ibis Hotel in Melbourne are seen wearing face masks on June 9 during lockdown

Announcing his call for another inquiry, Mr O’Brien said: ‘Victorians have worked hard to build a recovery, but it has all been put at risk by Labor failing to learn from its previous mistakes.

‘If the Andrews Labor Government continues to force lockdowns and restrictions on Victorians, then the Victorian community should have key questions about Labor’s decisions answered.

‘Victorians are suffering. Small businesses are closed, students are missing school, all the while the government is playing politics and not releasing the health advice Labor’s lockdowns are based on.

‘Victorians deserve an open and transparent government. It’s clear the Andrews Labor Government is making decisions on the run and has no plan for Victorians.’

A Japanese restaurant closed with tables packed on June 11 during Melbourne's fourth lockdown

A Japanese restaurant closed with tables packed on June 11 during Melbourne’s fourth lockdown

The previous inquiry was set up by Victoria’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee.

Deputy Chair Richard Riordan said: ‘With 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, the PAEC inquiry should be reopened immediately. 

‘Victorians are demanding answers of their government and they are not getting them. This has to change.’

The 30 mistakes made by the Victorian government 

• Further breaches from Victoria’s hotel quarantine system;

• Covid testing centres experiencing multi-hour wait times over the New Year period, as government locks down state borders leaving Victorians on holiday stranded;

• Victorian Auditor-General investigates government’s hotel quarantine contracts with security companies;

• Unified Security prepares to sue the Victorian Government;

• WorkSafe Victoria inquiry continuing with potential prosecution of the Premier, Ministers and government Departments;

• Hotel quarantine operators who never hosted returned travellers paid millions;

• Hotel quarantine workers paid full salary despite not working a single day;

• Government apologises for incorrectly quarantining Brisbane travellers;

• Former hotel quarantine worker complains of ‘hostile and intimidating behaviour’;

• Novotel’s manager and head of infection control fired over 51 infection control breaches;

• Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria’s general manager of infection control stood down over Covid protocol breaches;

• Leaked incident reports document months of hotel quarantine protocol breaches;

• Epidemiologists and hygienists criticise flaws in hotel quarantine;

• Five-day lockdown of Victoria in response to Covid escaping hotel quarantine (impact to businesses over Valentine’s Day period);

• Use of nebuliser blamed by government for Victoria’s third wave with official leaked documents showing the government was wrong;

• Exposure sites listed by DoH incorrectly or without prior notification of establishment;

• Andrews declares Victoria’s hotel quarantine has ‘higher standards’ than other states’;

• Initial poor uptake of government QR code system with Parliament choosing its own stand-alone system;

• Police Association Victoria attacks Covid fine leniency;

• Jim’s Mowing founder to legally challenge last year’s Victorian lockdowns;

• Beyond Blue experiences increase in calls during snap 5-day lockdown and Lockdown 4;

• Academics find Covid lockdowns affected Victorian children more than in other states;

• Permit system to re-enter Victoria from NSW quickly overwhelmed, plagued with technical difficulties;

• Almost 5,000 prisoners to be released early due to the pandemic;

• Crime Statistics Agency 2020 figures show significant jumps in family violence, and drug and sex offences during lockdowns;

• Government announces Mickleham quarantine facility, demands Federal Government money to pay for it;

• Avalon Airport on agenda to host quarantine facility despite close relationship between owners and Premier;

• Alarmist language and rebuke by health experts;

• Only 13% of small businesses supported during Lockdown 4; and,

• Failure by the State Government to follow through with its mandatory vaccination legislation, including the revelation only half of Victoria’s paramedics have had the vaccine. 

Source: Liberal-National Opposition 

On Monday Victoria recorded two new cases of Covid-19, both of which are primary contacts of a previously known case and have been self isolating. 

The latest cases have been quarantined during their entire infectious period so they pose no risk to the community, the Victorian Department of Health said. 

Victoria lifted many lockdown restrictions on Friday, but said the chances of all remaining measures being eased hinged largely on testing numbers.

The local authorities were concerned about the drop in numbers seeking Covid tests, with just 16,932 results received in the 24 hours to Monday. 

Ideally, government officials said upwards of of 20,000 per day were required for there to be a confidence the virus was not circulating undetected in the community. 

There were 64 active cases of Covid in Victoria as of Monday morning, with just three people receiving hospital treatment and none in intensive care. 

Melbourne's lockdown has ended - but overnight 19 new exposure sites were added to the Victorian Health website

Melbourne’s lockdown has ended – but overnight 19 new exposure sites were added to the Victorian Health website

The Victorian Health Department added six locations to the exposure list overnight which are listed as Tier Two exposure sites meaning anyone who visited must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

A confirmed positive case visited the McDonald’s at Freshwater Place at Southbank in the CBD, between 5pm and 5.30pm on Friday, June 11. 

The person also went to Woolworths Melbourne Square on Hoff Boulevard, at Southbank, between 4pm and 5.30pm on Tuesday, June 8.

The Medibank office on level seven of 720 Bourke Street, Docklands, was also visited between 7.45am and 4.15pm on May 18.

The office building 4 Freshwater Place, Southbank, was also flagged as an exposure site, with the confirmed case visiting the site between 8.40am and 9.25am, and 4.35pm and 5.30pm on June 9.

There are currently more than 130 venues on Melbourne’s exposure list – down from 400 that were listed last week.

A popular McDonalds in the heart of Melbourne's Southbank has been forced to close after a customer infected with Covid dined in the restaurant last Friday

A popular McDonalds in the heart of Melbourne’s Southbank has been forced to close after a customer infected with Covid dined in the restaurant last Friday

Covid fragments have also been detected in the sewage systems of a handful of suburbs, sparking concerns the virus could be in the region undetected.

Wastewater in the northeastern suburbs of Balwyn North, Bulleen, Bundoora, Eaglemont, Heidelberg, Heidelberg Heights, Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe East, Kew East, Macleod, Rosanna, Viewbank, Watsonia and Yallambie are of particular concern.

There are no confirmed cases in the areas, prompting fears there is an undiagnosed infectious case still in the community.

Anybody who visited the areas between June 9 and 10 are urged to seek testing if they develop any Covid symptoms. 

Ideally, government officials are hoping to see testing numbers north of 20,000 each day to feel confident the virus is not circulating undetected in the community. Pictured: Australian swimmer Cate Campbell receives a Pfizer vaccine

Ideally, government officials are hoping to see testing numbers north of 20,000 each day to feel confident the virus is not circulating undetected in the community. Pictured: Australian swimmer Cate Campbell receives a Pfizer vaccine



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