‘Chairman Dan’ exposed: How Victoria BEGGED the military for help two weeks ago citing a ‘lack of access to skilled resources’ before a mysterious backflip left private security guards to monitor its bungled coronavirus hotels
- Victoria asked ADF to help with their hotel quarantine according to leaked emails
- But the ‘high priority’ request for 850 personnel on June 24 was cancelled
- Victoria’s second spike in coronavirus cases has been linked to hotel quarantine
- The ADF is now providing assistance for COVID-19 testing with 200 personnel
Victoria begged the Australian Defence Force to help monitor their troubled hotel quarantine program after private security firms tasked with the job were caught breaching protocols, leaked emails reveal.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp sent a ‘high priority’ request for 850 ADF personnel to the Home Affairs and Defence departments on June 24 despite Premier Daniels claiming it did not happen.
The request was abruptly cancelled shortly after with premier’s office on Friday claiming the ADF was only considered to help with the transportation of returned travellers from airports to hotels.
The email, seen by The Herald Sun, said ADF officers were needed ‘to provide compliance and monitoring support to Department of Health and Human Services at the designated hotels being used for mandatory quarantine’.
Pictured: ADF personnel assist with coronavirus testing at Melbourne Showgrounds on Monday
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp reportedly sent a ‘high priority’ request for 850 ADF personnel to the Home Affairs and Defence departments on June 24
The revelation comes as Victoria battles a second spike in coronavirus cases, with a number of infections linked to safety breaches at quarantine hotels in Melbourne.
Mr Crisp’s request said resources to manage compliance at the hotels had been ‘exhausted’.
‘It has been identified that there is the lack of access to skilled resources to undertake specific functions,’ the request said.
The request for 850 ADF personnel was cancelled by the state government and a revised request for 200 officers to assist with COVID-19 testing was lodged on June 25.
The government was initially planning on deploying 1,000 ADF personnel in Melbourne according to reports at the time before revising the figure 850 and further dropping it to 200.
‘Our top priority is on planning and logistics assistance, and medical personnel to support our suburban testing blitz,’ a state government spokeswoman said last week.
Mr Andrews said conversations were conducted with the ADF about transporting travellers from the airport to the hotel, as had been done in Sydney.
He claimed the government and the ADF agreed the work would simply replicate what was already being done with SkyBus.
The request for 850 ADF personnel was cancelled by the state government and a revised request for 200 officers to assist with COVID-19 testing was lodged on June 25. Pictured: ADF personnel assist with tests on Monday
Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) said conversations were conducted with the ADF about transporting travellers from the airport to the hotel, as had been done in Sydney
‘The notion that the ADF are involved across the board or were somehow offered up to run the entire program is simply wrong,’ he said.
On Thursday, the Victorian Government announced their hotel quarantine program would be subject to a judicial inquiry.
There are allegations of under-trained staff, inadequate personal protective equipment, billing rorts by private security contractors and even claims that some hotel guards slept with guests.
The probe follows the tracing of a big proportion of recent coronavirus cases in Victoria to breaches in hotels hosting returned travellers.
A number of Victoria’s second spike in coronavirus cases have been linked to quarantine hotels in Melbourne. Pictured: Stamford Plaza, where returned travellers have been quarantined