Reports today confirming the extraordinary cost of staffing arrangements is yet more salt-in-the-wounds of Daniel Andrews’ catastrophic hotel quarantine program.
It has been revealed that since taking control of the botched hotel quarantine program in early July, the Department of Justice and Community Safety paid $78.6 million in wages to Resident Support Officers as of November 30 2020, despite the suspension of international arrivals during this period.
Furthermore, it has been confirmed that only 225 of the 1,500 staff employed were redeployed to assist in alternative tasks such as contact tracing and doorknocking, meaning the vast majority of staff were paid to sit at home and do nothing.
This wages waste comes on top of the at least $200 million cost to taxpayers of Labor’s first hotel quarantine program, which was responsible for triggering Victoria’s second wave, resulting in over 800 deaths, 200,000 job losses and immeasurable social harms.
Daniel Andrews’ hotel quarantine program remains the worst public policy failure in Victoria’s history and Victorians deserve real answers as to what went wrong and who is responsible.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police & Community Safety, David Southwick:
“Daniel Andrews handing tens of millions of dollars to staff sitting at home whilst international flights were suspended is a slap in the face to every Victorian taxpayer doing it tough.
“It’s disgraceful that whilst countless Victorians were put out of work or had their livelihoods ruined by Daniel Andrews’ second wave, staff employed in hotel quarantine were receiving $2,000 a week without lifting a finger.
“This enormous wage waste is the cherry on top of the worst public policy failure in Victoria’s history, which saw the deaths of 801 Victorians, 200,000 jobs lost and immeasurable social harms.”