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Serious questions over COVID breach remain unanswered

Premier Peter Gutwein needs to give Tasmanians a guarantee that investigations into a breach of hotel quarantine will be thorough and the findings will be made public.

Shadow Minister for Police Michelle O’Byrne said important questions about how a COVID positive man was able to depart Melbourne for Hobart and then walk out of hotel quarantine had so far not been adequately addressed by the government.

“The Premier was adamant that after the recent case of a 15-year-old who walked out of home quarantine in Launceston another breach could not be allowed to occur,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“The breach by this individual from hotel quarantine cannot be swept under the carpet and the Premier needs to show Tasmanians that important lessons have been learned and, as he said, it cannot be allowed to happen again.

“Why are there not more thorough checks at ports of exit to Tasmania and, given that the Premier himself has said previously that delta will arrive in the state, why were we not better prepared for the possibility of a breach from hotel quarantine?

“The investigation needs to focus on why security staff weren’t provided with more resources and why camera surveillance was inadequate to eliminate the risk of this man leaving and entering the community, particularly since he had shown scant regard for the rules.

“Tasmanians want to know how this was able to happen, plunging the south of the state into lockdown.

“The Premier needs to also update Tasmanians on the review of the home quarantine system that was promised after the Launceston breach and give an undertaking the findings of that review will also be made public.”

Michelle O’Byrne MP  
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire & Emergency Management