Melbourne quarantine hotel boss is sensationally sacked after he ‘plotted to sell booze to profit from alcohol-dependent guests’ forced into 14-day isolation
- A health official stationed at a Melbourne coronavirus hotel has been sacked
- DHHS confirmed on Tuesday evening an investigation would be launched
- A complaint alleged the worker was planning to sell alcohol to hotel guests
A Victorian health official has been sacked amid complaints he was planning to make extra cash by selling booze to guests in coronavirus quarantine hotels in Melbourne.
The Department of Human and Health Services (DHHS) confirmed on Tuesday night an investigation would be launched into the alleged misconduct of the man, who was stationed at the Brady Hotel.
‘A DHHS employee has been stood down from his role at the Brady Hotel,’ a spokesman for the Department of Justice and Community Safety said.
‘A formal investigation is underway. These are serious allegations and, if substantiated, are completely unacceptable conduct for a government employee. It would be inappropriate to comment any further.’
The Department of Human and Health Services confirmed on Tuesday evening an investigation would be launched into the alleged misconduct of the man, who was stationed at the Brady Hotel in Melbourne. Pictured: The Brady Hotel in Little La Trobe Street, Melbourne
A complaint alleged the DHHS worker was planning to make extra cash by selling alcohol to guests isolating in quarantine hotels. Pictured: A Melbourne BWS worker moves stock in Februrary
The official allegedly offered to buy alcohol for hotel guests at a profit, according to a complaint written by a staff member at the hotel and seen by The Australian.
‘(The official) suggested that he could go and purchase alcohol for guests “at profit” and that he would be charging people for delivery. This did not appear to be an ethical or practical way to manage this,’ the complaint said.
Hotel guests in isolation have tested positive to COVID-19 or have been identified as close contacts of known cases. Some of the guests suffer mental health problems and alcohol dependency.
DHHS had barred alcohol at the Brady Hotel but staff members said the ban caused withdrawal symptoms among some guests.
The advice was then changed to allow guests who received an alcohol and drug assessment to be provided with alcohol but the purchase of booze outside the hotel was prohibited.
Eligible guests could buy beer for $8 a unit, according to a separate account.
Victorian Police officers and ADF personnel are seen along Bourke street in Melbourne during stage four lockdown
The alcohol issue reportedly came to a head when 40 backpackers were put into hotel isolation, with many requesting the supply of alcohol.
According to the written complaint, the DHHS manager was concerned the guests were trying to ‘play’ staff to acquire alcohol.
He was under the impression some of the guests were going to provide false medical information, claiming they required alcohol due to the risk of withdrawal symptoms.
Victoria’s bungled hotel quarantine program for international arrivals is subject to an inquiry.
Victoria’s deadly second wave was sparked after coronavirus escaped from hotel quarantine, which was enforced by private security firms, in late May.
Australian Defence Force personnel walk through Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne on Monday