VICTORIA'S COVID-19 HOTEL QUARANTINE INQUIRY - WHAT COUNSEL ASSISTING TONY NEAL QC WANTS TO KNOW
STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM
* "How was the hotel quarantine program structured? Were roles allocated appropriately within the structure, including as between governments and private providers?
* "What powers were exercised and by whom?"
TIMING AND PREPARATION
* "The initial setup of the hotel parenting program was undertaken in 48 hours and represented a very considerable logistical effort ... Given the complex health environment in which people were being mandatorily detained, how was the initial set-up bedded down and revised?
* "What time was taken to be able to review the appropriateness of hotel arrangements and security arrangements in the weeks following its inception?
* "How well prepared in the circumstances was Victoria to create and run a program of this kind, for an emergency of this kind?"
* "The departments tasked to respond were in some cases at least acting outside their usual remit and scope of expertise. It required the deployment of departmental officers to perform duties as authorised officers and support staff at hotels ... How were those staff identified, allocated, trained and supported? Were the numbers sufficient to meet the demands of the program?
* "The program required large numbers of hotel rooms and hotel staff. How were those hotels identified and how did they meet the requirements imposed by quarantine and COVID-19, both for guests and staff?
* "How was cleaning and infection control to be managed?"
* "The program also required the deployment of a large number of private security guards to the hotels. The questions which arise are: why were they chosen?
* "What was understood as the role that they were to play?
* "What was the skill set that they brought to the job that they were required to do?
* "How indeed were they trained, resourced and supervised?
* "Did they have appropriate access to personal protective equipment and infection control measures?"
GOVERNMENT LINES OF SUPERVISION AND ACCOUNTABILITY
* "Fundamentally, who was running the program and who was accountable for its work?
* "What level of control or influence was exercised by public health experts as opposed to those whose expertise lay elsewhere?"
Australian Associated Press