Call to end regional corrections staff travelling in and out of metro hotspots

Liberal Nationals are calling for the immediate cease of regional based correctional officers being deployed to metropolitan COVID-19 hotspots.

Following revelations of the gross mismanagement of Victoria’s quarantine hotels, which has contributed to Victoria’s second wave and second lockdown of over 5 million people, Corrections Victoria staff – many from regional areas – have been used to manage these hotels and other known COVID-19 hotspots.

Despite this, the Andrews Labor Government’s failure to properly manage these facilities means there remains a heightened risk of staff contracting the virus and potentially spreading it to regional communities upon their return home.

With the greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire areas remaining in a stage 3 lockdown, it is essential all steps are taken to avoid the spread of COVID-19 to regional Victoria and the use of regionally-based corrections staff in metropolitan hotspots must cease immediately.

While other states have used the ADF to manage hotel quarantine without mass outbreaks, it’s extraordinary that Daniel Andrews has arrogantly refused ADF assistance which now means that all of greater Melbourne and Mitchell shire are back in stage 3 lockdown.

Andrews needs to swallow his pride, stop relying on regional corrections staff and bring in the ADF and help us to fix Victoria’s second wave of coronavirus caused by the bungled hotel quarantine mess.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Corrections, David Southwick:

“The use of regional officers in known COVID-19 hotspots opens the door to spreading this virus to regional communities and this practice must be stopped immediately.

“By drawing on staff from low affected areas to the frontline of COVID-19, the Andrews Labor Government is placing the health and safety of regional communities at unnecessary risk.

“Daniel Andrews has failed on hotel quarantine once and mustn’t allow his mismanagement to cause a second outbreak in regional Victoria.

“If the Andrews Labor Government doesn’t have the local resources to manage COVID-19 hotspots they should simply say so, and ask for ADF support.”

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