Victoria’s hotel quarantine minister defends the system

The minister responsible for Victoria’s hotel quarantine arrangements has defended the system, saying recent sackings show it is working well.

It has been revealed two staff who worked at the Novotel Melbourne Central hotel have been stood down over infection protocol breaches.

The hotel is a new addition to the program under the revamped scheme.

Acting Emergency Services Minister Danny Pearson told reporters before Parliament today that COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) and the government were prepared to act when issues were identified.

“I think the system is working because again if you see something, you say something about it,” Mr Pearson said.

“And it is good enough, more than 5,000 people through the program to date, 69 days without a community transmission, like the system’s working.

“But it’s got to be about continual improvement and it’s got to be about having the honest conversations. We’ve got to get the culture right, and I want CQV to be the best organisation it can be.”

It comes a day after a senior infection control manager at CQV was stood down after allegedly breaching their own protocols.

Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien says the fact Matiu Bush was only stood down on full pay after the breaches were publicised in the media shows it was “covered up”.

Reporting by Yara Murray-Atfield

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