Public hearings for the pandemic inquiry at Parliament today has revealed the Andrews Labor Government was aware of Victorian and international advice calling on the use of rapid antigen testing in September last year.
Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory director Professor Deborah Williamson informed the Pandemic Declaration Accountability and Oversight Committee that roundtables on the use of rapid antigen tests occurred in September 2021 after pilot programs during 2020, saying:
“The advice that we provided was really that we should be exploring the use of rapid antigen testing on a larger scale”.
The Liberals and Nationals were calling on the implementation of rapid antigen testing since August 2021, with Health Minister Martin Foley at the time saying:
“If you want to stake the welfare of Victorians on one rapid antigen test, then you are a very brave public health official and you are putting the welfare of Victorians at risk.”
Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier said ignoring expert advice and the subsequent lack of planning and preparation from the government should be a concern for all Victorians.
“Rapid testing was available last August to be part of our COVID testing regime, yet the Andrews Labor Government dismissed expert advice and decided to play politics with people’s lives instead.”
“Daniel Andrews’ arrogance and mismanagement made it even more difficult for Victorians to rebuild, recover and get on with their lives.”
Georgie Crozier MP
Shadow Minister for Health