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We seek prosecution of the Victorian government – Criminal failures

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Today we have lodged with the Victorian WorkSafe Authority a letter requesting that the Authority prosecute the Victorian government over failures in relation to the Hotel Quarantine Containment Program. These failures have resulted in 765 deaths to date.

The letter to WorkSafe is here

An explanation as to the background to the prosecution request is here.

The letter says in part:
I consider that the occurrences, acts and omissions of the employer entities, officers … persons and employees in the listing below, constitute indictable criminal offences against the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic

This request is made in the knowledge that the Authority (WorkSafe) and its Inspectors have extensive coercive investigatory powers which were not made available to the Board of Inquiry into the Hotel Quarantine Containment Program headed by Jennifer Coate.

On the basis of the sworn evidence provided by the witnesses to and the documents produced to the Victoria government Board of Inquiry … headed by Jennifer Coate and also in public statements made by the
  • Premier Daniel Andrews,
  • former Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos,
  • Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton
  • Deputy Chief Health Officer, Annaliese van Diemen,
it is now clear that these occurrences, acts and omissions have to date resulted in more than 17,800 people contracting the COVID-19 virus, hundreds of people being admitted to hospital as inpatients and 765 people dying as a result of contracting the virus (as at 27 September 2020).

This request is made in compliance with section 131(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004…
The letter cites the following for prosecution:

The Premier of Victoria and three Ministers past and present
Sixteen senior bureaucrats
Five government departments

Under the Act, WorkSafe has until 29th December 2020 to either prosecute or provide reasons for not prosecuting. If WorkSafe does not prosecute, the matter can be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.



Comments
Leigh Coutie commented on 29-Sep-2020 10:11 AM
Well done. I was considering the same but wasn't sure how to do this. I have just joined your organisation because of this action.
Anonymous commented on 29-Sep-2020 03:12 PM
Well done it needs more people to stand up and make this disgraceful vic government pay for its criminal
Neglect.
Peter Mckenzie commented on 29-Sep-2020 07:32 PM
Loved the work on Dan - became a supporter today - felt powerless till today - 71 and self employed - Dan has made it very tough.
Live in the bush - no cases - no pool - no gym - no hope till today

Many Thanks - I hope revenge will be sweet
Anonymous commented on 29-Sep-2020 11:17 PM
I have worked in humanitarian emergencies around the world and this is a complete and utter failure of accountability. There was a tender process for security firms and also a budget which was signed off by someone in government. This paperwork needs to become available to the public as this will show clearly who signed off on accepting security firms for the hotel quarantine programme. Even if it is not clear who decided on the security firms, the person signing off on the tender process and budget is ultimately responsible.
Programme monitoring is the basics of any programme involving contractors, and given it is plainly obvious that security firms are not equipped to handle a health emergency, there should have been monitoring and training provided, particularly given the immense importance of the programme.
Anonymous commented on 30-Sep-2020 11:07 AM
I have been thinking about this matter for some time. At the time of the Essendon Football Club drug doping disaster. I could not get anybody in government to take any action and the buck-passing was similar to what we are now experiencing with the coronavirus hotel disaster.
I wrote to the Premier the responsible minister and the CEO of WorkCover with no effective response. Finally in desperation I wrote to the Victorian Ombudsman who then suggested to the WorkCover CEO that my complaints were genuine and that my complaint should be addressed.
Finally a formal WorkCover enquiry was instituted resulting in the Essendon Football club pleading guilty to breaches of the Occupational Health & Safety Act for not maintaining a safe workplace and were fined $250,000.
Accordingly I have copied the draft letter above and will be submitting it independently in parallel in the hope that more pressure will be brought to bear on WorkCover which of course is under the thumb of the Victorian government.

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