Connect with us

Australia

Brett Sutton knew about decision to use private security guards in Melbourne’s hotel quarantine

Published

on

brett sutton knew about decision to use private security guards in melbournes hotel quarantine

Leaked emails suggest that Victoria’s top doctor knew in March that private security guards would be used in the bungled hotel quarantine program. 

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told an inquiry that he had no idea contractors were being used until May.

But leaked emails published by the Age newspaper between him and staff from late March contradict these claims. 

The email chain was from the day hotel quarantine arrangements were being made, specifically in response to a question about ways to ensure quarantine compliance. 

Damning emails reveal Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (pictured) was told months ago private security would be used in the bungled hotel quarantine program

Damning emails reveal Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (pictured) was told months ago private security would be used in the bungled hotel quarantine program

Damning emails reveal Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (pictured) was told months ago private security would be used in the bungled hotel quarantine program

Correspondence from a colleague within the Department of Health on March 27 clearly spelled out plans to use private contractors. 

‘Directions will be provided to passengers as the (sic) disembark and will be supported by Victoria Police at the airport. Private security is being contracted to provide security at the hotels with escalation arrangements to VicPol as needed,’ the email read. 

Sutton sent through a response only three minutes later saying: ‘Thanks so much.’ 

But during the inquiry into the state’s hotel quarantine program he said he wasn’t aware of this fact under after the outbreak at Rydges on Swanston.

Since the emails were leaked Professor Sutton has doubled down on his testimony made during the inquiry, ABC news reported.

Private security guards were pulled from a Melbourne quarantine hotel and replaced by police in September. Pictured: cleaning staff at a Melbourne CBD quarantine hotel

Private security guards were pulled from a Melbourne quarantine hotel and replaced by police in September. Pictured: cleaning staff at a Melbourne CBD quarantine hotel

Private security guards were pulled from a Melbourne quarantine hotel and replaced by police in September. Pictured: cleaning staff at a Melbourne CBD quarantine hotel 

The disastrous hotel quarantine blunder sparked a second wave in Victoria in which more than 700 people lost their lives (pictured: new arrivals are ushered into the Crown Promenade Hotel in Melbourne)

The disastrous hotel quarantine blunder sparked a second wave in Victoria in which more than 700 people lost their lives (pictured: new arrivals are ushered into the Crown Promenade Hotel in Melbourne)

The disastrous hotel quarantine blunder sparked a second wave in Victoria in which more than 700 people lost their lives (pictured: new arrivals are ushered into the Crown Promenade Hotel in Melbourne)

‘I saw that they were responding back to the Commonwealth and I thanked them for the responses that they were given, but I clearly did not register that anything was being said about private security,’ Professor Sutton said.

‘Otherwise I would’ve gone to the inquiry and said that I was aware of it.’ 

The emails were not included as evidence during the inquiry. 

Professor Sutton said he is willing to be re-examined and officials will provide ‘anything else that’s requested’. 

Pictured: A little girl wearing a face mask is ushered into hotel quarantine at the Crown Promenade hotel by private security guards wearing hi vis, gloves and masks

Pictured: A little girl wearing a face mask is ushered into hotel quarantine at the Crown Promenade hotel by private security guards wearing hi vis, gloves and masks

Pictured: A little girl wearing a face mask is ushered into hotel quarantine at the Crown Promenade hotel by private security guards wearing hi vis, gloves and masks 

The inquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine program, is set to be reopened at 2pm on Tuesday. 

On Friday, the Board of Inquiry, chaired by retired judge Jennifer Coate, announced it would hold a sitting next week. 

The board has reportedly received new phone logs from Premier Daniel Andrews and his staff and previously unseen documents from the Department of Health and Human Services that warranted reopening the inquiry. 

The inquiry into Melbourne's hotel quarantine scheme is set to be reopened after the board received new phone logs from Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) and his staff and previously unseen documents from the Department of Health and Human Services

The inquiry into Melbourne's hotel quarantine scheme is set to be reopened after the board received new phone logs from Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) and his staff and previously unseen documents from the Department of Health and Human Services

The inquiry into Melbourne’s hotel quarantine scheme is set to be reopened after the board received new phone logs from Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) and his staff and previously unseen documents from the Department of Health and Human Services 

Pictured: Returned travellers are put into hotel quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic

Pictured: Returned travellers are put into hotel quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic

Pictured: Returned travellers are put into hotel quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic 

The inquiry had finished on September 28 after hearing from 63 witnesses, including Mr Andrews, senior government ministers and public servants.

It is due to hand down its final report on November 6.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos and Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) secretary Chris Eccles both resigned after appearing before the inquiry.

In a statement, Mr Eccles conceded the records show he spoke to former Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton at 1.17pm on March 27, the day it was decided private security guards would staff quarantine hotels.

‘The telephone records do not in any way demonstrate that I, or indeed anyone else in DPC made a decision that private security be used in the hotel quarantine program,’ Mr Eccles said.

The board has reportedly received new phone logs from Premier Daniel Andrews and his staff and previously unseen documents from the Department of Health and Human Services that warranted reopening the inquiry (pictured: hotel staff in Melbourne)

The board has reportedly received new phone logs from Premier Daniel Andrews and his staff and previously unseen documents from the Department of Health and Human Services that warranted reopening the inquiry (pictured: hotel staff in Melbourne)

The board has reportedly received new phone logs from Premier Daniel Andrews and his staff and previously unseen documents from the Department of Health and Human Services that warranted reopening the inquiry (pictured: hotel staff in Melbourne) 

Guards employed by services company Spotless were sent home from the Novotel (pictured) in Southbank half way through their shift in September

Guards employed by services company Spotless were sent home from the Novotel (pictured) in Southbank half way through their shift in September

Guards employed by services company Spotless were sent home from the Novotel (pictured) in Southbank half way through their shift in September 

‘I am absolutely certain I did not convey to Mr Ashton any decision regarding the use of private security as I was unaware any such decision had been made, and I most certainly had not made such a decision myself.’

The two-minute phone call between Mr Ashton and Mr Eccles occurred in a critical six-minute window when, according to the former police chief’s messages tendered to the inquiry, the decision to use guards was made.

Ms Mikakos’ resignation came the day after the premier appeared at the inquiry.

In her response to closing submissions, Ms Mikakos said Mr Andrews’ evidence about private security should be ‘treated with caution’.

She said it was ‘implausible’ to suggest no one made the decision to use private security guards in the botched program.

Pictured: The Pan Pacific hotel in Melbourne, which was used during Victoria's bungled hotel quarantine program

Pictured: The Pan Pacific hotel in Melbourne, which was used during Victoria's bungled hotel quarantine program

Pictured: The Pan Pacific hotel in Melbourne, which was used during Victoria’s bungled hotel quarantine program

Lawyers assisting the inquiry had previously argued the decision wasn’t made by one person or government department.

Instead, it was a ‘creeping assumption that became a reality’ following a 4:30pm meeting at the state control centre on March 27.

‘Such a submission has insufficient regard to the realities of governmental operation and decision-making,’ Ms Mikakos’ submission reads.

‘The board ought to treat with caution the premier’s evidence where he sought to explain the reference to the use of private security in the hotel quarantine program.’

Victoria’s second wave of coronavirus, which resulted in more than 18,000 new infections and more than 750 deaths, can be traced back to outbreaks at two Melbourne hotels used in the quarantine program.

Police and Protective Services Officers are seen in the foyer of the Novotel Melbourne South Wharf hotel in Melbourne in September

Police and Protective Services Officers are seen in the foyer of the Novotel Melbourne South Wharf hotel in Melbourne in September

Police and Protective Services Officers are seen in the foyer of the Novotel Melbourne South Wharf hotel in Melbourne in September 

Suggested findings for Victorian quarantine hotels inquiry 

Lawyers Tony Neal QC, Rachel Ellyard and Ben Ihle submitted their suggested findings to Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry. They are as follows: 

GOVERNMENT HAD NO PLAN

* Public servants were given just 36 hours to set up the program.

* There was no suggestion those who set up the program worked other than with ‘the best of intentions and to the best of their ability’.

* ‘Bad faith or corruption is not what the evidence shows.’

DHHS WAS IN CONTROL

* The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions played a substantial role but the Department of Health and Human Services was the control agency responsible for the program.

BRETT SUTTON SHOULD’VE BEEN IN CHARGE

* It was wrong to appoint people without public health expertise as the state controllers of the pandemic in February as it ‘influenced the way in which DHHS subsequently understood and acted on its responsibilities’.

* ‘Had the chief health officer or another person with public health expertise been appointed state controller … they would have had direct oversight of the hotel quarantine program and been able to directly influence the model of that program.’

NO ONE PERSON MADE THE DECISION TO USE SECURITY GUARDS

* ‘It can be best understood … as a creeping assumption or default consensus reached in the state control centre after the preference of Victoria Police was known.’

POLICE HAD PREFERENCE FOR GUARDS

* ‘It was not Victoria Police’s decision, but Victoria Police’s clear position that security would be preferable was a substantial contributing factor to the consensus.’

PREMIER SHOULD HAVE BEEN TOLD ABOUT ADF OFFER

* Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary Chris Eccles should have told Premier Daniel Andrews his federal counterpart had offered Australian Defence Force support in an April 8 email exchange.

* But the initial decision not to have ADF boots on the ground was ‘reasonable and open – and no criticism should be directed to those who made those operational decisions’.

CONTRACTS WERE INAPPROPRIATE

* ‘There was insufficient supervision of those contracts to ensure compliance with the contractual terms, including as to subcontracting.’

* ‘The contracts with hotels and security companies should not have placed responsibility for PPE and infection control education on those contractors.’

HOTEL QUARANTINE RESPONSIBLE FOR SECOND WAVE

* Ninety per cent of second wave COVID-19 cases are attributable to the Rydges on Swanston outbreak in mid-May. Just under 10 per cent were attributable to the outbreak at the Stamford Hotel in mid-June.

* ‘The hotel quarantine program in Victoria failed to achieve its primary objective. The program that was intended to contain the disease was instead a seeding ground for the spread of COVID-19 into the broader community.’

* ‘The failure by the hotel quarantine program to contain this virus is, as at today’s date, responsible for the deaths of 768 people and the infection of some 18,418 others.’

PEOPLE IN QUARANTINE NOT LOOKED AFTER

* ‘The program did not always operate so as to meet the needs of those who were detained, in particular, those who had specific needs or vulnerabilities.’

* ‘Very early on, better consideration ought to have been given to the likely psychosocial impact of detention and expert advice should have been sought.’

* ‘Exemptions could and likely should have been granted in more situations.’

LACK OF TRANSPARENCY

* ‘There were significant issues which should have been brought to the respective ministers’ attention. The departmental secretaries were obliged to ensure that they discharged those obligations.’

* ‘They likely contributed to a loss in opportunities to identify and address issues which may have prompted better, fuller and more timely action.’

The submissions may form the recommendations of the inquiry’s chair, retired judge Jennifer Coate. She is due to deliver her final report to Victorian Governor Linda Dessau by November 6.

<!—->Advertisement

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Australia

WA: Anthony Grant Lauritsen, who tried to decapitate his GRANDMOTHER, could be released from jail

Published

on

By

wa anthony grant lauritsen who tried to decapitate his grandmother could be released from jail

A man who attempted to decapitate his own grandmother and had a hit list of family members he wanted to kill may soon be released prison.  

Anthony Grant Lauritsen used a lawn edger and hammer to murder and disembowel his grandmother Margaret Lauritsen, 67, and kill her poodle Susie in the Perth suburb of Calista in Western Australia in 1998.   

He was found to have a hit list of people he wanted to murder, including his own family members, before he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.   

Lauristen’s family are now ‘shocked’ that WA’s Prisoners Review Board recommended the murderer be released back into the community last week.

Margaret Lauritsen (pictured with her grandchildren), 67, was killed by her grandson Anthony Grant Lauritsen in Calista in Perth, WA in 1998

Margaret Lauritsen (pictured with her grandchildren), 67, was killed by her grandson Anthony Grant Lauritsen in Calista in Perth, WA in 1998

Margaret Lauritsen (pictured with her grandchildren), 67, was killed by her grandson Anthony Grant Lauritsen in Calista in Perth, WA in 1998

A family spokeswoman who was on Lauritsen’s hit list pleaded for the killer to be kept in jail for the safety of her family and the community.  

‘Everyone is so shocked and scared that this could really be about to happen,’ she said, according to the West Australian

‘If he is on anti-psychotic medication and stops taking them or starts taking drugs or drinking alcohol again, as free people can make the choice to do, … society won’t have the model prisoner that the parole board is seeing as actually wanting back in society but rather an unwell and unpredictable paranoid and violent man.’

The Lauritsen family received a letter from the Victim Notification Register last week.

According to the letter, the review board met on October 23 and ‘would report to the Attorney-General advising him that Mr Lauritsen is suitable for release to parole’.

Lauritsen’s cousin Helene Farrell started a change.org petition last year to keep Lauritsen behind bars because ‘you can’t rehabilitate evil’.

Margaret Lauritsen and her granddaughter. Anthony Lauritsen used a lawn edger and hammer to murder his grandmother. He also tried to decapitate her but was not able to

Margaret Lauritsen and her granddaughter. Anthony Lauritsen used a lawn edger and hammer to murder his grandmother. He also tried to decapitate her but was not able to

Margaret Lauritsen and her granddaughter. Anthony Lauritsen used a lawn edger and hammer to murder his grandmother. He also tried to decapitate her but was not able to 

‘Please help keep the monster Anthony Lauritsen (my cousin) behind bars, we don’t want him in our community. Do you want him in your neighbourhood?’ Ms Farrell wrote.

‘This man brutally murdered my grandma, and they think he is now ready for release, what a joke! I want him in jail for the remainder of his life, he took the life of his own grandma, and I believe he should never be released.’ 

Ms Farrell said the ‘horrible crime’ has affected her family, particularly her father John, and ‘shattered our hearts’ as well as the Calista community.  

‘Our family friends cleaned the house in the aftermath, it’s not a thing we as a family like to relive but unfortunately we have to,’ she said. 

‘I just don’t want any other family to have to go through this ever it’s just totally horrible.

‘Conditions to parole in this case need to be addressed, as its not like he (Lauritsen) has any family support! So it’s unbelievable that he should even be able to be involved in the rehabilitation process, this is why we need to have our voice heard.’ 

Lauritsen's cousin Helene Farrell started a change.org petition (pictured) last year to keep Lauritsen behind bars because 'you can't rehabilitate evil'

Lauritsen's cousin Helene Farrell started a change.org petition (pictured) last year to keep Lauritsen behind bars because 'you can't rehabilitate evil'

Lauritsen’s cousin Helene Farrell started a change.org petition (pictured) last year to keep Lauritsen behind bars because ‘you can’t rehabilitate evil’

Attorney-General John Quigley will decide on Lauritsen’s release and approved him to join a re-socialisation program to prepare him for post-prison life last year.  

Mr Quigley’s spokesman said he had not yet received Lauristen’s statutory report from the WA Prisoners Review Board. He said Mr Quigley can only decide on Lauristen’s release after reviewing the report.  

After killing his grandmother in 1998, Lauristen rinsed the murder weapons and left them on his aunt’s bed, who he threatened to kill and tried to attack with an axe seven weeks prior.

Lauristen was waiting to kill his aunt once she returned when police found and arrested the blood-soaked murderer. 

The judge noted Lauristen ‘attempted to sever her (his grandmother’s) head’ and ‘disemboweled her’ before ‘handling the contents, taking them out of the body’. 

The court also heard Lauristen admired the Martin Bryant, who killed 35 people in the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.  

Lauristen was sentenced to at least 20 years in jail, which was the longest sentenced ever handed down by a WA court at the time.  

Margaret Lauritsen laughs at a family event. Her granddaughter Helene Farrell said: 'This man brutally murdered my grandma, and they think he is now ready for release, what a joke!'

Margaret Lauritsen laughs at a family event. Her granddaughter Helene Farrell said: 'This man brutally murdered my grandma, and they think he is now ready for release, what a joke!'

Margaret Lauritsen laughs at a family event. Her granddaughter Helene Farrell said: ‘This man brutally murdered my grandma, and they think he is now ready for release, what a joke!’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Australia

Australian photographer Reuben Rock reveals what your university degree says about you on TikTok

Published

on

By

australian photographer reuben rock reveals what your university degree says about you on tiktok

Criminologists are TV addicts on the fast-track to unemployment and sports scientists are people who wanted to be physiotherapists but ‘just aren’t smart enough’, an Australian photographer has claimed.

In a TikTok video uploaded Thursday, Reuben Rock gave his take on what four university degrees say about the people who study them.

He singled out students of criminology, law, sports science and arts, accusing the former two of living in a fantasy world created by watching too many crime and legal TV shows.

Mr Rock threw particular shade at those studying sports science, saying: ‘You really just want to be a physio, but you’re just not smart enough.’

He also claimed arts students and people pursuing creative paths didn’t know what to do after high school and simply followed the advice of career counsellors to take any degree on offer.

Scroll down for video

Mr Rock claimed arts students and people pursuing creative paths simply didn't know what to do after high school and took whatever degree was on offer (stock image)

Mr Rock claimed arts students and people pursuing creative paths simply didn't know what to do after high school and took whatever degree was on offer (stock image)

Mr Rock claimed arts students and people pursuing creative paths simply didn’t know what to do after high school and took whatever degree was on offer (stock image)

‘If you’re studying criminology, bro we all know you’ve just watched way too much NCIS and now you reckon you’ll be solving triple homicides by dusting fingerprints,’ Mr Rock said.

He is referring to the US crime series that follows a team of agents at the Naval Criminal Investigation Service as they solve challenging and often harrowing cases. 

‘The only thing you’ve just done is waste four years of life and now you won’t even be able to get a job,’ he added.

Mr Rock voiced similar criticism about what motivates legal students, insisting most want to emulate the slick city lawyers depicted in TV shows.

Mr Rock accused law students of being motivated by watching too much Suits, the hit legal drama that starred Meghan Markle before she became Duchess of Sussex (stock image)

Mr Rock accused law students of being motivated by watching too much Suits, the hit legal drama that starred Meghan Markle before she became Duchess of Sussex (stock image)

Mr Rock accused law students of being motivated by watching too much Suits, the hit legal drama that starred Meghan Markle before she became Duchess of Sussex (stock image)

Reuben Rock’s take on each degree

Sports science: A profession for people who ‘aren’t smart enough’ to become physiotherapists

Law: For people obsessed with legal dramas like Suits

Criminology: For people who watch too many crime shows like NCIS

Arts and creative careers: For people who didn’t know what they wanted to do after leaving high school 

<!—->Advertisement

‘If you’re studying law you’re either a really good bloke and you just want to help out – or you just watch too much Suits and you’re obsessed with Harvey.’ 

Harvey is Harvey Specter, one of the protagonists of hit legal drama Suits which ran from June 2011 to September 2019 with a cast that included Meghan Markle before she became Duchess of Sussex.

Digs were also thrown at arts degrees, which covers a wide range of subjects including journalism, education, religion, social care and international relations.

‘If you’re doing an arts degree, you just had no idea what you wanted to do but you listened to the careers counsellor too much, saying ‘there’s more option for you than just a set degree’,’ he said.

The vlogger said criminologists are on the fast-track to unemployment after watching too much NCIS

The vlogger said criminologists are on the fast-track to unemployment after watching too much NCIS

While sports scientists simply 'aren't smart enough' to be physiotherapists

While sports scientists simply 'aren't smart enough' to be physiotherapists

The vlogger said criminologists (left) are on the fast-track to unemployment after watching too much NCIS while sports scientists (right) simply ‘aren’t smart enough’ to be physiotherapists (both images are stock)

Australian photographer Reuben Rock (pictured) had plenty to say about university degrees

Australian photographer Reuben Rock (pictured) had plenty to say about university degrees

Australian photographer Reuben Rock (pictured) had plenty to say about university degrees

In the comments section, people were quick to defend their degrees.

‘Feeling attacked for both crim (sic) and law,’ one woman wrote.

But some saw the funny side.

‘Okay dude, I study criminology and criminal justice and I feel attacked – also it was Criminal Minds, not NCIS for me,’ said one.

‘Ha – I wanted to do criminology but chose law instead, mostly because I watched Law and Order!’ said another. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Australia

Woman, 36, is stabbed to death at a home on a suburban road 

Published

on

By

woman 36 is stabbed to death at a home on a suburban road

A 36-year-old woman has been found stabbed to death on a suburban road in Queensland.

The woman was found with serious stab wounds on Kepnock Road in Bundaberg at 8.50am on Tuesday.

She died at the scene. 

Homicide detectives are now investigating.  

A 36-year-old woman has been found stabbed to death on a suburban road in Queensland (file picture)

A 36-year-old woman has been found stabbed to death on a suburban road in Queensland (file picture)

A 36-year-old woman has been found stabbed to death on a suburban road in Queensland (file picture)

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.