Victorian Jobs Minister lays blame for bungled hotel quarantine on DHHS

Giving evidence at the inquiry, Mr Pakula said he was under the impression that the DHHS was in charge.

Victorian Jobs Minister lays blame for bungled hotel quarantine on DHHS

Victorian Jobs Minister Martin Pakula has laid the blame for the state's hotel quarantine disaster at the feet of the Health Department during the inquiry into the fiasco today.

Giving evidence at the inquiry, Mr Pakula said he was under the impression that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was in charge, not his own.

While his department – that of Jobs, Precincts and Regions – was responsible for handling security contracts, he refuted claims that it was also responsible for training staff in the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE).

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"There was to my understanding, one department which was in charge, if you like, and had overall responsibility, and my department, whose role was to assist the control agency, which was in this case DHHS," Mr Pakula told the inquiry.

"To me it was quite clear that from March 28 ... under the emergency management structure, the Department of Health and Human Services [was] the control agency."

Yesterday Kym Peake, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told lawyers assisting the inquiry that the Federal Government had given her no pre-warning to plan for mass accommodation for new arrivals.

Instead of solely taking responsibility for the failures that led to Victoria's catastrophic second wave of coronavirus, Ms Peake redirected the blame for operational errors to her governmental colleagues.

"I know that it would be more straightforward to be able to say there is a single point of accountability for everything to do with COVID-19," she said.

"The hotels, security, cleaning, food and the helpline were the responsibility of the Department of Jobs."

The inquiry continues.

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Source : 9 News More