Breaches in the hotel quarantine system have been linked to recent outbreaks.(Pixabay)ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelThe inquiry set up to examine hotel quarantine errors that could have led to "every case" of coronavirus in Victoria's second wave will investigate the decisions of both government departments and private companies, its first hearing has been told.Key points:Opening statements have been made on day one of the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine InquiryThe inquiry is assessing information from members of the publicInitial responses have unveiled matters relevant to the inquiry, including training of security guardsThe Victorian Government called the inquiry last month after genomic sequencing linked recent outbreaks in the state back to breaches in the state-run system in late May and early June.Since then, authorities have not publicly answered questions about the program's operation, saying it would be inappropriate to comment with an inquiry coming up.But at the first public hearing today, senior counsel assisting the inquiry, Tony Neal QC, said a number of matters had already emerged in initial responses.These include the implications of the speed at which the hotel quarantine program was established, decision-making surrounding how to implement the program in its original form, and coordination between various government agencies.Coronavirus latest: Follow all the latest information in our COVID-19 live blog.Mr Neal also said a number of matters related to contracts had emerged, including the suitability of service providers engaged by the Government and the oversight of "suitably qualified people" over contractual arrangements.The training and provision of security guards was also among the list of matters to have emerged so far.Inquiry expects no less than 'full cooperation'No evidence was heard by the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry today, but the inquiry's head Jennifer Coate and Mr Neal both made opening statements.Read more about coronavirus:Tighter restrictions loom if Victoria's coronavirus 'rollercoaster' doesn't slow downThe Daniel Andrews brand is damaged. Here's what the politics mean for the pandemic"Information already available to the inquiry suggests the possibility of a link between many of the cases of coronavirus identified in the Victorian community in the past few weeks and persons who were quarantined under the hotel quarantine program," Mr Neal said."Comments made by the Chief Health Officer [Brett Sutton] to the media have suggested that it may be that every case of COVID-19 in Victoria in recent weeks could be sourced to the hotel quarantine program."Mr Neal said 10 state government agencies and 14 private entities were already identified as "of interest" to the inquiry, including eight security companies and six hotels in Melbourne."The board has already written to place them on notice that their decisions and conduct fall within the terms of reference, and has asked for an initial response," Mr Neal said. Former judge Jennifer Coate says she expects full cooperation over the course of the inquiry.(Supplied)Public witness examinations are scheduled to start on August 6 and the inquiry is due to report by September 25.Mr Neal said anticipated witnesses included medical experts, relevant decision makers and government officials, hotel operators, private service providers, employees in the system, and people who stayed in quarantine.Ms Coate said the inquiry had a "keen understanding of the importance of this inquiry" to Victorians."I expect no less than full, frank, and timely cooperation from all relevant government departments, entities, and persons, to enable me to do my job for the people of Victoria," she said.Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreakDownload the ABC News app and subscribe to our range of news alerts for the latest on how the pandemic is impacting the worldPremier confident of answersNational Cabinet agreed to enforce a 14-day quarantine of international arrivals in late March to bring outbreaks linked to returned travellers under control.The policy was announced on March 27 and state and territory governments had until 11:59pm on March 28 to implement it.Victoria is the only state where health authorities have linked recent outbreaks back to breaches in its hotel quarantine system.Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today said he was "confident the process will give us the answers that we are each entitled to"."What has gone here is completely unacceptable to me and unacceptable to all of us, but the best thing to do is to have that proper understanding of exactly what has gone on," he said.Government agencies of interest to inquiry:Department of Health and Human Services?Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions?Department of Treasury and Finance?Department of Justice and Community Safety??Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning?Department of?Transport?Department of Premier and Cabinet?Victoria Police??Emergency Management Victoria??Ambulance Victoria?Private entities of interest to inquiry:Travelodge?Hotel Melbourne??Stamford Plaza Hotel Melbourne??Rydges?on Swanston Hotel Park Royal Hotel Melbourne Airport?Holiday Inn Melbourne??Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne?Wilson SecurityUnited Risk ManagementUnified Security Group AustraliaUltimate Protection Services?MSS SecurityElite Protection Services AustraliaAustralian Protection Group?The Security HubWhat you need to know about coronavirus:The symptomsThe number of cases in AustraliaGlobal cases, deaths and testing rates
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