XYZ News encouraged speculation on this back when we explored the possibility that Daniel Andrews didn’t simply fall down the stairs. Turns out it was all true:
Victoria’s workplace safety watchdog has taken the extraordinary step of charging the state government with 58 breaches over its hotel quarantine fiasco last year.
The Department of Health faces fines of up to $1.64 million.
In a bombshell development on Wednesday afternoon, WorkSafe Victoria charged the department with 17 counts of failing to provide a workplace that was free of health risks to employees.
It was also charged with a further 41 breaches.
The charges related to the state government’s bungled hotel quarantine program, set up between March and July 2020.
The Department of Health was responsible for the oversight and co-ordination of the program.
WorkSafe alleged the Department breached Occupation Health and Safety laws by failing to appoint people with infection prevention and control expertise to be stationed at the hotels.
It also alleged the department failed to provide security guards with face-to-face infection prevention control training by a person with the appropriate expertise prior to them starting work.
Written instructions for the use of PPE were “either failed or initially failed” to be provided to workers, it was also alleged.
WorkSafe also questioned whether the Department failed to update written instructions on the use of face masks at several of the hotels.
“In all charges, WorkSafe alleges that Department of Health employees, Victorian Government Authorised Officers on secondment, or security guards were put at risk of serious illness or death through contracting COVID-19 from an infected returned traveller, another person working in the hotels or from a contaminated surface,” a WorkSafe statement read.
“The decision to prosecute has been made in accordance with WorkSafe‘s General Prosecution Guidelines, which require WorkSafe to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to support a reasonable prospect of conviction and whether bringing a prosecution is in the public interest.
“Inquiries into other entities associated with this investigation including hotels, security firms and other Government departments and agencies have concluded.”
One wonders is “other Government departments” includes Premier and Cabinet. As usual, the no-name Opposition Leader makes a good point about taxation-is-theft but misses the big picture:
“So a government authority (WorkCover) will file charges against a government department (Health) for the faults of government ministers, but the government (taxpayers) will pay the ultimate fines..
True. What is truly absurd is that this whole fiasco reinforces the idea that Covid, which has a 99% survival rate, requires entire cities and regions to be locked down in order to combat its spread. It reinforces the belief that we must muzzle ourselves with face nappies everywhere we go.
It reinforces the notion that the only way we can ever get our lives back is if we all take a drug which statistics demonstrate is more dangerous than Covid.
Ultimately it builds the case that quarantining people in hotels is not sufficient to prevent the spread of this almost non-lethal virus. As XYZ News has repeated stated, this simply paves the way for the government to put people in camps. They have built them, they’re expanding them and building more.
This is our future.