'No lines of control': Hotel quarantine fell short from outset, inquiry hears

www.theage.com.au
4 min read
fairly difficult
Victoria's hotel quarantine program was set up without 'precise lines of responsibility, control, supervision and management' and failed in its goal, the inquiry into the bungled scheme has heard.
"Decisions were made very quickly and in the absence, it seems, of precise lines of responsibility, control, supervision and management," he said. "Given the complex health environment in which people were being mandatorily detained, how was the initial set up bedded down? What time was taken to review the appropriateness of hotel arrangements and security arrangements in the weeks following its inception? The Rydges on Swanston hotel was the source of a major outbreak linked to Victoria's second coronavirus wave. Credit:Getty Images "From the beginning, it seems there were multiple and potentially overlapping areas of responsibility between the departments. Evidence will be called in due course about the roles that some departments envisaged playing … and how they differed from the roles that they actually played as the program commenced." The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald revealed last week that patient zero in the coronavirus wave currently plaguing the state was not a badly behaved security guard but a night duty manager at the Rydges hotel on Swanston Street, one of the busiest quarantine hotels, dubbed the "red hotel".

The $3 million inquiry led by former judge Jennifer Coate is investigating how the hotel quarantine program was established and operated, as well as outbreaks among staff and private security guards at the Rydges hotel and Stamford Plaza, which have been linked to a significant proportion, if not all, of Victoria's second-wave infections. Loading Mr Neal said the inquiry would focus on how private security guards at…
Tammy Mills, Michael Fowler
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