The Victorian Coronavirus hotel Quarantine investigation revealed that a decision or a single person cannot be held responsible for the failure of the system established to control the growing cases of Coronavirus.
The counsel helping to investigate the hotel’s quarantine program in Victoria concluded that no single decision or person caused the “catastrophic” failure of the scheme.
Tony Neal QC addressed the investigation for the last time on Monday, citing the complexity and “unenviable” task facing politicians and bureaucrats who were tasked with preparing the program in less than two days in late March.
There was simply no time to translate policy into a plan and then implement that plan, Neil told the commission of inquiry.
An enormous, immediate and unenviable burden has been placed on public service workers to establish not one, but rather a series of infection control facilities in buildings that are clearly not designed for quarantine purposes said, Neil.
Mr. Neil told Investigative Chief Jennifer Coate that the Department of Employment and Territories picked 29 hotels as quarantine facilities, but that only 20 hotels were eventually used.
He said that the Department of Health and Human Services later identified the hotels that would be used, adding that the program had “catastrophically failed two of those hotels.”
There will be no suggestion from those who are helping that those involved in preparing this program have worked only with the best of intentions or the best of their abilities, he told the investigation.
It will not be suggested that a single decision or single actor caused the hotel’s quarantine program to fail in achieving its goal of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the community, said Neil.
In her final reports, assistant investigative counsel Rachel Ellyard said it was “surprising” that no senior Victorian government member was able to determine the source of the decision to use private security in the quarantine program.
Ellyard said the meeting at the State Control Center at 4:30 p.m. on March 27 was a key factor in the final decision to use private security.
It is a conclusion that was reached by means of a creeping assumption, which continued over a period of perhaps two hours, and no one questioned that, Ellyard told the investigation committee.
The decision to use private security on a large scale was blamed for transmitting the virus to society, causing a devastating second wave for Victoria.
On Friday, Andrews told the commission of inquiry that he believed his health minister, Jenny Mikakos, was in charge of the program.
Ms. Coate told the investigation that the evidence for “lines of accountability” was “varied”.
She is due to present her final report to Victoria Governor, Linda Dessau QC, by November 6.