Liberal Nationals welcome Ombudsman investigation into housing towers

The Liberal Nationals have welcomed the Ombudsman’s announcement that her office will investigate the treatment of residents in a North Melbourne public housing tower.

More than 3000 Melbourne residents, with less than an hour’s notice, were told they could not leave their homes, when Andrews ordered nine public housing towers into complete lockdown earlier this month.

The Ombudsman’s investigation will consider the conditions under which people were, and continue to be, detained at 33 Alfred Street, the nature and accessibility of official communications with residents and advocates, the nature and appropriateness of restrictions upon people’s access to fresh air, exercise, medical care and medical supplies while detained and whether the Department of Health and Human Services and other relevant authorities have acted compatibly with, and given proper consideration to, the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act.

Since the lockdown it has been reported that Victorian health authorities have confirmed a link between cases from the Black Lives Matter protest and over 240 cases in public housing towers.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Housing, Tim Smith:

“Victorians are not back in lockdown because of bad luck, we are back in lockdown and businesses are closing due to bad decisions made by the Andrews Labor Government.

“To date Andrews and his ministers have refused to be transparent with Victorians and the media about his failures of hotel quarantine which led to Victoria’s second wave of coronavirus.

“These residents were treated appallingly with reports that the basics like food and medicines were not delivered for days.”

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