Victorian coronavirus hotel quarantine inquiry hears Victoria Police position contributed to 'creeping consensus' on private security

www.abc.net.au
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fairly difficult
The inquiry into Victoria's hotel quarantine program hears the program failed to meet its primary objective — to keep the community safe from the virus — with devastating consequences.
Victoria's hotel quarantine program is responsible for 768 deaths and more than 18,000 infections, the inquiry into the scheme has heard.

Key points: The inquiry heard the program had failed in its objective to keep the community safe

The inquiry heard the program had failed in its objective to keep the community safe There was no evidence of "bad faith or corruption" and those who set up the program did their best with good intentions, it was told

There was no evidence of "bad faith or corruption" and those who set up the program did their best with good intentions, it was told Victoria Police's preference for private security contributed to a "creeping consensus" without a decision ever being made, the inquiry lawyers say

Delivering his final submissions, inquiry lawyer Ben Ihle said the program had failed to meet its primary objective, which was to keep the community safe from the virus.

"The program that was intended to contain the disease, was instead a seeding ground for the spread of COVID-19 into the community," Mr Ihle said.

"The failure by the hotel quarantine program to contain this virus is, as at today's date, responsible for the deaths of 768 people and the infection of some 18,418 others.

"One only needs to pause and to reflect on those figures to appreciate the full scope of devastation and despair occasioned as a result of the outbreaks."

The inquiry has previously heard that 90 per cent of the infections in the state's second wave could be traced back to a family of four who served their quarantine period at the Rydges on Swanston hotel.

The Rydges on Swanston hotel in Carlton was one of 20 hotels used in the program. ( AAP: Scott Barbour )

Earlier on Monday, the inquiry heard Victoria Police's preference for private security to be used in the program contributed to a "creeping assumption" among authorities that the decision had been made.

Counsel assisting the inquiry, Rachel Ellyard, said it was "astonishing" that not one senior…
Elias Clure
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