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Victorian Government response to the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry

The Victorian Government's response to the Board of Inquiry into the coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotel Quarantine Program.

On 2 July 2020, the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Premier, established the Board of Inquiry to ensure independent scrutiny of the Hotel Quarantine Program.

The Inquiry issued its Final report on 21 December 2020.

Response to recommendations

The Government welcomes the Inquiry’s Final Report and thanks the Chair, the Hon. Jennifer Coate AO, and Inquiry staff for their hard work preparing the comprehensive Final Report.

The Government is taking action to implement all 81 of the Inquiry’s recommendations. Of the 81 recommendations, the Government:

  • has accepted and already acquitted 49 recommendations
  • has accepted and already acquitted four recommendations in part
  • has accepted and will implement eight recommendations in full
  • will refer 20 recommendations to National Cabinet to ensure a nationally consistent approach

The Government accepts all 12 new recommendations in the Inquiry’s Final Report

Of the 12 new recommendations in the Final Report, three recommendations relating to the reset COVID-19 Accommodation Program (the Program) had already been acquitted in the reset model of the Program. The Government has accepted all eight of the remaining new recommendations, with seven, relating to oversight, accountability and emergency management, to be implemented during 2021, and the remaining recommendation relating to pandemic planning exercises to be implemented in 2022.

More broadly, the Government is committed to learning from these lessons, to ensure that Victoria continues to deliver the safest and most effective quarantine system possible.

The Government’s reset Program, overseen by CQV, is delivering a robust, safe and effective quarantine program

Principles at the heart of the Program include:

  • strong IPC protocols, and advanced testing and contact tracing, as evidenced by the appropriate use of personal protective equipment and appropriate oversight by the Chief Health Officer (e.g. in approving IPC frameworks)
  • governance, accountability, auditing and assurance, with the establishment of CQV as a single dedicated agency responsible for overseeing all elements of the Program
  • training and role clarity, including mandatory staff training regarding IPC, emergency response, hygiene standards, and health and safety requirements
  • resident health and wellbeing, ensuring daily health and wellbeing checks are being undertaken

The Government is working with the Commonwealth Government on recommendations that require agreement at the national level

A total of 20 recommendations require close engagement with the Commonwealth and/or consideration by bodies such as National Cabinet or the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

The Premier will write to the Prime Minister to request that National Cabinet consider:

  • a home-based model for quarantine of returned travellers
  • information-gathering and electronic record-keeping for returned travellers
  • a consistent national approach to fresh air breaks for returned travellers in quarantine facilities
  • action to address the recommendations from the Review of Australia’s Health Sector Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009

The Minister for Health, Secretary of the Department of Health, and Chief Health Officer will also work with their federal counterparts and advocate through appropriate avenues so that necessary action is taken to address the recommendations from the Review of Australia’s Health Sector Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009.

The Government is committed to ongoing reporting and continuous improvement in the Program and pandemic planning and management

The Government is committed to ongoing and transparent reporting against the recommendations to support their timely and effective implementation.

The Government receives regular updates about the reset Program and the response to COVID-19, and will receive regular updates about the implementation and status of the recommendations. Periodic public reporting will ensure the community is kept informed of this progress and can be confident that recommendations are being appropriately acquitted. 

Full response

The Government’s response to the Final Report (including detailed table):

Reviewed 25 March 2021

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