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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle book will ‘settle scores’

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prince harry and meghan markle book will settle scores

A biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dubbed by Palace insiders ‘the gospel according to Harry and Meghan’ is set to plunge relations with the Royal Family to a new low.

Sources believe the ‘resentful’ couple will use the book – extracts from which will be seen for the first time this weekend – to ‘settle scores’.

Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, has been written by royal watchers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, described as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s ‘cheerleaders’.

The authors boast the book published next month has been written ‘with the participation of those closest to the couple’. 

There have been reports that Harry and Meghan have spoken to the authors personally, although this has not been confirmed.

A biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dubbed by Palace insiders 'the gospel according to Harry and Meghan' is set to plunge relations with the Royal Family to a new low. Pictured: The couple in Rabat, Morocco in February last year

A biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dubbed by Palace insiders 'the gospel according to Harry and Meghan' is set to plunge relations with the Royal Family to a new low. Pictured: The couple in Rabat, Morocco in February last year

A biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dubbed by Palace insiders ‘the gospel according to Harry and Meghan’ is set to plunge relations with the Royal Family to a new low. Pictured: The couple in Rabat, Morocco in February last year

The issue of how far the couple have co-operated with the authors is interesting given the backdrop of Meghan’s legal battle with The Mail on Sunday over its publication of a letter she wrote to her father.

Thomas Markle says he only made the letter public after its existence was revealed by some of her closest friends to a US magazine. Meghan claims she had no idea they were going to do this and that the letter should have remained private.

Intriguingly, sources have told the Mail that Harry and Meghan had initially been worried when they heard about plans for the biography and ordered their staff to speak to the authors to find out what was going to be in it.

A number of meetings and dinners were subsequently held, it is believed. ‘When they realised that it was likely to be quite the hagiography anyway, it seems the Sussexes decided to kill it with kindness,’ one insider said.

Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Prince William and Kate at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March last year

Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Prince William and Kate at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March last year

Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Prince William and Kate at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March last year

Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, has been written by royal watchers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand

Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, has been written by royal watchers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand

Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, has been written by royal watchers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand

Sources have told the Mail that the biography will lay bare the ‘pressure cooker’ of anger and resentment the couple felt as working royals.

Harry and Meghan claim they were ‘spectacularly unsupported’ by what they have described as the ‘institution of the monarchy’, and it is expected that senior staff will be in their firing line.

Wills’ ‘grief trauma’ fund 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have launched a £1.8million fund to provide grief trauma counselling and support for more than 250,000 emergency workers affected by coronavirus.

Teachers, children and parents will also be offered mental health support when schools re-open.

This week the couple met representatives of frontline bodies that will benefit, including Mind, the Ambulance Staff Charity, counselling service Shout and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Kate said she and William had been ‘in awe’ of their ‘incredible work’ but knew that ‘the pandemic will have a lasting impact on their mental health’.

Grants have also been given to mental health charities to increase the capacity of helpline and chat services to meet rising demand caused by the virus. 

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‘Regardless of the truth, it will make headlines worldwide and give a fulsome airing to the Sussexes’ long list of grievances, yet again,’ one well-placed figure said.

Another source told the Mail that they had been warned to expect a ‘revisionist’ version of events concerning their engagement, marriage and brief spell as working royals. 

‘It’s going to be the gospel according to Meghan and Harry, so to speak,’ they said. ‘Everything that has happened in terms of Megxit will be seen through the prism of their take on events.

‘What it’s unlikely to reveal, however, is how it subsequently emerged that Harry and Meghan had been quietly plotting their ‘exit’ from the Royal Family for at least nine months before they finally announced their decision to quit in January this year.

‘That hurt a lot of people who had bent over backwards to protect them.’ Members of the couple’s circle say that Harry, while loyal to Meghan, was very torn about how to resolve the situation. ‘But Meghan was extremely vocal about how unhappy she was and Harry, who had always hated the media and the so-called ‘men in grey suits’ [at the palace], eventually saw this as a way out too,’ they said.

The Mail understands that Buckingham Palace fear the book will destroy any hope of Harry and Meghan repairing their relationships with the rest of the Royal Family.

Sources say the Sussexes are ‘still somewhat shell-shocked’ about recent events. 

‘Truthfully, they didn’t think things would end up the way they did,’ said one. ‘But they are stubborn and have firmly convinced themselves that they have done the right thing, regardless of the consequences.’

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The used cars worth 25 per cent more than this time last year as sales surge during COVID-19

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the used cars worth 25 per cent more than this time last year as sales surge during covid 19

Used cars in Australia are worth a lot more now than they were last year because of coronavirus  – with SUVs and utes particularly popular.

Demand for pre-loved Toyota LandCruiser four-wheel drives and Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger utes has soared. 

Australia’s used car market is running hot even though sales of brand new vehicles have fallen for 29 straight months. 

In a bizarre set of circumstances, used car prices in August were 25 per cent higher than a year ago, Datium Insights and Moody’s Analytics data showed.

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Used cars in Australia are worth a lot more now than they were last year because of coronavirus - with SUVs and utes particularly in high demand. Pictured is a 2018 Toyota LandCruiser Prado listed on carsales.com.au. Prices for this used four-wheel drive have surged 27 per cent in a year

Used cars in Australia are worth a lot more now than they were last year because of coronavirus - with SUVs and utes particularly in high demand. Pictured is a 2018 Toyota LandCruiser Prado listed on carsales.com.au. Prices for this used four-wheel drive have surged 27 per cent in a year

Used cars in Australia are worth a lot more now than they were last year because of coronavirus – with SUVs and utes particularly in high demand. Pictured is a 2018 Toyota LandCruiser Prado listed on carsales.com.au. Prices for this used four-wheel drive have surged 27 per cent in a year

Online classifieds site Carsales.com.au has revealed which used cars were particularly sought after.

Most popular used cars

1. Toyota LandCruiser

2. Toyota HiLux

3. Ford Ranger

4. Toyota LandCruiser Prado

5. Toyota Corolla

6. Holden Commodore

7. Volkswagen Golf

8. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

9. Mazda3 

10. Toyota RAV4 

11. Mitsubishi Triton

12. Hyundai i30

13. Nissan Navara

14. Toyota Camry

15. Ford Mustang

16. BMW 3-Series

17. Toyota Kluger

18. Mazda CX-5

19. Ford Falcon

20. Isuzu D-MAX 

Source: Carsales.com.au  data for September 2020 

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Canstar editor-in-chief Effie Zahos said a diminished supply of new cars, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, had seen Australians turn to the secondhand market.

‘Aussies, we’ve decided that we want to own cars again,’ she told the Today show.

‘It’s a combination of the supply of new cars, a little bit harder to get in, and also more people now wanting to own their own car rather than catch public transport because of COVID and also families holding on to their existing cars.

‘This is creating a situation where, in a lot of cases, you could right now sell your car, a used car, for a lot more because the demand is there.’

The Toyota LandCruiser was the most popular used car in Australia, followed by the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Toyota LandCruiser Prado and Toyota Corolla.

‘They’re the most in-demand cars right now,’ Ms Zahos said. 

‘It is probably a good time, if you do have a car that you want to get rid of, you want to cash in on it a little bit, there is demand for it.’

Toyota LandCruiser Prado’s median price on Carsales have risen by 27.2 per cent to $51,529, when September 2020 was compared with a year earlier.

Today host Karl Stefanovic joked that he was considering selling his $140,000 Toyota LandCruiser Sahara and buying a new American RAM pick-up truck.

‘I might hock my LandCruiser off and grab myself a RAM. That will make me popular at home,’ he said.

Toyota SUVs had four spots on the top 20 list of popular used cars with the RAV4 in tenth spot and the Kluger at No. 17.

Utes took out five places, with the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger the second and third most popular used vehicles, ahead of the Mitsubishi Triton at No. 11, the Nissan Navara in 13th place and the Isuzu D-MAX in the twentieth spot. 

Canstar editor-in-chief Effie Zahos said a diminished supply of new cars, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, had seen Australians turn to the secondhand market

Canstar editor-in-chief Effie Zahos said a diminished supply of new cars, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, had seen Australians turn to the secondhand market

Canstar editor-in-chief Effie Zahos said a diminished supply of new cars, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, had seen Australians turn to the secondhand market

Today host Karl Stefanovic joked that he was considering selling his $140,000 Toyota LandCruiser Sahara and buying a new American RAM pick-up truck

Today host Karl Stefanovic joked that he was considering selling his $140,000 Toyota LandCruiser Sahara and buying a new American RAM pick-up truck

Today host Karl Stefanovic joked that he was considering selling his $140,000 Toyota LandCruiser Sahara and buying a new American RAM pick-up truck

Small hatches had four places with the Toyota Corolla in fifth spot, the Mazda3 at No.9, the Volkswagen Golf in seventh place and the Hyundai i30 in twelfth position.

Prestige cars were there too including the Mercedes-Benz C-Class at No.8, the BMW 3-Series in sixteenth spot and the Ford Mustang at No. 15. 

The most popular used cars are also consistently among the top ten list of Australia’s most popular new cars.

Demand for secondhand cars, however, is in stark contrast to brand new cars – with sales in August 20.4 per cent weaker than the same month in 2019, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries data showed. 

The Toyota LandCruiser (pictured) was the most popular used car in Australia

The Toyota LandCruiser (pictured) was the most popular used car in Australia

 The Toyota LandCruiser (pictured) was the most popular used car in Australia

Sales of brand-new SUVs have dived by 17 per cent during the past year as demand for new utes fell 35.9 per cent.

Passenger vehicles sales are 42.8 per cent weaker annually.  

The Toyota LandCruiser, Australia’s most popular used vehicle, isn’t particularly popular in showrooms, with brand new sales in August 14.8 per cent down compared with a year earlier.

Demand was also strong for pre-loved utes including the Toyota HiLux (recently superseded model pictured) and the Ford Ranger

Demand was also strong for pre-loved utes including the Toyota HiLux (recently superseded model pictured) and the Ford Ranger

Demand was also strong for pre-loved utes including the Toyota HiLux (recently superseded model pictured) and the Ford Ranger  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Vincent Namatjira is first Indigenous artist to win Archibald Prize with a portrait of Adam Goodes

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vincent namatjira is first indigenous artist to win archibald prize with a portrait of adam goodes

Vincent Namatjira has become the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize for his portrait of Adam Goodes.

Namatjira was announced winner of the $100,000 prize, now in its 99th year, at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney on Friday for his portrait titled Stand strong for who you are.

The announcement was made virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions with Namatjira accepting the prize via video link. 

‘This is a really special moment for me and I am feeling a bit nervous and excited,’ Namatjira said on Friday.

Vincent Namatjira (left) standing next to his self-portrait featuring Adam Goodes. He is the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize, it was announced on Friday

Vincent Namatjira (left) standing next to his self-portrait featuring Adam Goodes. He is the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize, it was announced on Friday

Vincent Namatjira (left) standing next to his self-portrait featuring Adam Goodes. He is the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize, it was announced on Friday

The Western Arrernte artist said he was honoured to be the first Indigenous winner of the Archibald, noting ‘it only took 99 years’.

Namatjira’s painting featured himself and Adam Goodes holding hands as well as himself holding an Aboriginal flag on the right.

In the background of the painting, Goodes can be seen doing his famous spear throw celebration, and pointing to his skin, which itself is a reference to AFL legend Nicky Winmar who first did it in front of racist opposition spectators in 1993.  

Namatjira’s work was up against portraits of refugee Behrouz Boochani, Indigenous author Bruce Pascoe and popular actor Magda Szubanski among the contenders.

The 55 Archibald finalists announced last week included Angus McDonald’s portrait of Boochani, the Kurdish-Iranian granted refugee status by New Zealand and Wendy Sharpe’s portrait of Szubanski.

In the background of the painting, Goodes can be seen doing his famous spear throw celebration, and pointing to his skin, which itself is a reference to AFL legend Nicky Winmar who first did it in front of racist opposition spectators in 1993

In the background of the painting, Goodes can be seen doing his famous spear throw celebration, and pointing to his skin, which itself is a reference to AFL legend Nicky Winmar who first did it in front of racist opposition spectators in 1993

In the background of the painting, Goodes can be seen doing his famous spear throw celebration, and pointing to his skin, which itself is a reference to AFL legend Nicky Winmar who first did it in front of racist opposition spectators in 1993

Also among them was first-time Archibald prize entrant Meyne Wyatt who last week became the first Indigenous artist to win any of the prizes on offer in the Archibald’s 99-year history.

The actor and Wongutha-Yamatji man won the Packing Room Prize for his self-portrait.

The winner of the Sulman prize was also announced on Friday with Marikit Santiago taking home the award for her entry titled The Divine.

The Wynne prize was also on Friday awarded to Hubert Pareroultja for his piece titled Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges, NT).

The announcement was made virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions with Namatjira accepting the prize via video link

The announcement was made virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions with Namatjira accepting the prize via video link

The announcement was made virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions with Namatjira accepting the prize via video link

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Premier Dan Andrews fronts hotel quarantine inquiry

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premier dan andrews fronts hotel quarantine inquiry

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has sworn on the bible and told an inquiry into the disastrous COVID-19 hotel quarantine fiasco that he too does not know who made the decision to employ private security guards. 

His appearance will conclude the airing of weeks of evidence by a series of bumbling bureaucrats and ministers who have all failed to reveal who made the critical decision to employ private security guards to police returned travellers in March.  

‘I do not know who made that decision,’ he stated.

Mr Andrews will be the last to appear before the inquiry, which has turned into a complete farce. 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has sworn on the bible to tell an inquiry that he has no idea who decided to use private security to guard returned travellers

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has sworn on the bible to tell an inquiry that he has no idea who decided to use private security to guard returned travellers

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has sworn on the bible to tell an inquiry that he has no idea who decided to use private security to guard returned travellers 

Police minister Lisa Neville said she had not been consulted about the plan to use private security at Melbourne hotels

Police minister Lisa Neville said she had not been consulted about the plan to use private security at Melbourne hotels

Police minister Lisa Neville said she had not been consulted about the plan to use private security at Melbourne hotels 

Quarantine breaches involving private security guards seeded 99 per cent of Victoria’s deadly second wave of COVID infections, which in turn has led to more than 700 deaths of the elderly. 

The bungle is estimated to be costing Victoria anywhere up to $400 million a day with fears the current lockdown could run as high as $25 billion. 

Dozens of security guards ended up catching coronavirus from quarantined returned travellers while working in the hotels. 

‘After National Cabinet made its decision, I expected there that there would be a mix of different personnel playing different roles in the Program, including members of Victoria Police,’ Mr Andrews said in his statement to the inquiry.

‘But the way in which that decision was to be implemented, including the mix of personnel that would be engaged and their respective roles, was an operational matter. 

‘The decision to engage private security contractors, and many decisions like it, were of an operational nature. That is similarly so in the management of other disasters.’

The premier has told the inquiry that he maintains he was not aware of any offer of Australian Defence Force support for the inquiry at the time the program began. 

‘After the National Cabinet meeting on 27 March 2020, I understood that any ADF support for any State or Territory’s implementation of the mandatory self-quarantine decision would be provided where necessary and according to need,’ he stated. 

‘I understood that New South Wales was seen as having the greater need at that time. I did not understand, on the basis of the meeting, that Victoria would be receiving extensive ADF support in its implementation of the decision.’

The inquiry has heard repeatedly that ADF support had been on offer before a single traveller stepped foot into a Melbourne hotel. 

The inquiry has seen text massages referring to them, emails, scribbled notes and minutes from meetings. 

An outbreak at Rydges in May was the first time Victoria's health minister Jenny Mikakos even made an effort to find out who was running security at the COVID plagued hotels

An outbreak at Rydges in May was the first time Victoria's health minister Jenny Mikakos even made an effort to find out who was running security at the COVID plagued hotels

An outbreak at Rydges in May was the first time Victoria’s health minister Jenny Mikakos even made an effort to find out who was running security at the COVID plagued hotels 

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33466308 8771199 image a 2 1601009120033

Security at the Stamford was infected about three weeks after the Rydges, prompting the health minister to take urgent action to replace the workforce with prison guards

Private security has been accused of bungling the hotel quarantine operation and causing Victoria's deadly second wave of COVID-19

Private security has been accused of bungling the hotel quarantine operation and causing Victoria's deadly second wave of COVID-19

Private security has been accused of bungling the hotel quarantine operation and causing Victoria’s deadly second wave of COVID-19

‘I heard the Prime Minister’s comments in his press conference on the afternoon of 27 March 2020,’ Mr Andrews told the inquiry.

‘Those comments advanced a more generous position regarding the allocation of ADF personnel than had earlier been indicated. Later, in my press conference, I acknowledged that gesture, but I did not see that it necessarily changed what had been settled in National Cabinet.

‘I was not aware of any other offer of ADF personnel for the operation of the Program at its inception.’

Mr Andrews said he could not be certain why he told Victorians that he would be using private security at a press conference on March 27. 

‘I’m not certain why I mentioned police, private security and our health team. Those three groups of people and not a fourth or a fifth group,’ he said.

‘On the specifics I can’t clarify for you our outline for you or why I chose those three groups. I’m afraid I’ve tried to search my recall of this and I simply can’t, I can’t provide you detail.’

The inquiry had earlier seen text messages from former Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton declaring he had been told of the private security decision by someone within the Department of Premier and Cabinet that day. 

But Mr Andrews told the inquiry Mr Ashton did not receive the information from him.  

Former police chief Grahan Ashton (in green) tells a colleague on March 27 that the premier's department had told him private security had got the hotel quarantine gig

Former police chief Grahan Ashton (in green) tells a colleague on March 27 that the premier's department had told him private security had got the hotel quarantine gig

Former police chief Grahan Ashton (in green) tells a colleague on March 27 that the premier’s department had told him private security had got the hotel quarantine gig 

Former police chief Graham Ashton swears on the bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Former police chief Graham Ashton swears on the bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Former police chief Graham Ashton swears on the bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

On Thursday, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos fronted the inquiry where she too failed to enlighten the nation as to who made the fateful error in deciding to employ private security firms as the frontline force against COVID-19. 

The board of inquiry, headed by former Family Court judge Jennifer Coate, was established to determine what went so drastically wrong with the hotel program. 

Mr Andrews called the inquiry in June after genomic sequencing revealed a number of coronavirus cases could be linked to ‘staff members in hotel quarantine breaching well known and well understood infection control protocols’. 

The inquiry has been running since August 17, but as it draws to an end, not a single person involved in the debacle has been able to pinpoint who came up with the idea to use private security. 

One after the other, police, ministers, public servants and patsies have fronted the inquiry to declare how little they know about how the crucial decision was made.

And if they ever did know, they had now forgotten. 

Even former Mr Ashton appeared to suffer from memory loss at the inquiry. 

Someone from the Premier’s department had told him the decision had been made, but he can’t recall who it was. 

On Thursday, the health minister said she would not even try to offer an opinion on who might be to blame. 

Ms Mikakos had copped a battering from barristers acting on behalf of the security companies that actually worked at the hotels. 

At the beginning of the day, the health minister had bragged how it had been her who cooked up the idea to place COVID-19 infected into hotels after being inspired by a social media post.

‘Yes, it is, and my very firm recollection about this matter was that I conceived of the idea of Hotels for Heroes,’ she said. 

‘It was one that I put to the premier’s chief of staff I believe on approximately 27 March. I had had read about a program in the United Kingdom through social media that was accommodated healthcare workers in caravans, and I thought that that would be a good idea for us to have a look at providing some accommodation to healthcare workers who were either infected or exposed to COVID-19.’

The plan was quickly turned into the doomed hotel quarantine program which saw the government’s jobs department contract the private security guards. 

ADF personnel were used successfully to police returning travellers at hotels in NSW, but were rejected in Victoria amid fears they had no real authority to detain people

ADF personnel were used successfully to police returning travellers at hotels in NSW, but were rejected in Victoria amid fears they had no real authority to detain people

ADF personnel were used successfully to police returning travellers at hotels in NSW, but were rejected in Victoria amid fears they had no real authority to detain people 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews faced the hotel inquiry on Friday. His colleagues have failed to remember crucial details about how the plan came together

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews faced the hotel inquiry on Friday. His colleagues have failed to remember crucial details about how the plan came together

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews faced the hotel inquiry on Friday. His colleagues have failed to remember crucial details about how the plan came together

Ms Mikakos told the inquiry she did not burden herself with who was running security until two months later when she was told an outbreak at Rydges on Swanston in Melbourne had been spread by a security guard. 

Until then, Ms Mikakos had not even bothered to read the plan established to protect Victorians from the threat of COVID-19 infection from returning travellers. 

‘I explained at the outset of my evidence, that ministers play a high-level policy and decision-making role,’ she said.  

‘I wouldn’t expect to be provided a huge amount of detail around specific operational matters. They were matters that sit appropriately with my officials.’

Ms Mikakos was asked if she believed it was a dereliction of her duty as a minister  not to have read the operational plan for the response of her department to the pandemic.

‘Not at all,’ she said.

‘In fact, my department did not formally provide me with a brief on it. It’s something that I have sourced because I wanted to familiarise myself with it.’

Ms Mikakos said that once the first security guard caught COVID-19 while working in the Stamford Plaza – three weeks after the case in the Rydges on Swanston in late May – she formed a view to replace the security guard workforce. 

The inquiry has heard from the heath department secretary Kym Peake, the secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet Chris Eccles and of course the Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton. 

Jobs minister Martin Pakula's department had contracted the private security companies to perform the job, but claims he did not make the decision to use them

Jobs minister Martin Pakula's department had contracted the private security companies to perform the job, but claims he did not make the decision to use them

Jobs minister Martin Pakula’s department had contracted the private security companies to perform the job, but claims he did not make the decision to use them 

The quarantine disaster in Victoria allowed COVID-19 enter aged care facilities resulting in hundreds of deaths. Many Victorians fear no-one will ever be held accountable

The quarantine disaster in Victoria allowed COVID-19 enter aged care facilities resulting in hundreds of deaths. Many Victorians fear no-one will ever be held accountable

The quarantine disaster in Victoria allowed COVID-19 enter aged care facilities resulting in hundreds of deaths. Many Victorians fear no-one will ever be held accountable 

None were able to shed any light on who made the decision to employ the private security guards. 

They all agreed it was probably a bad idea in hindsight. 

For one, they were the ‘wrong cohorts’ for the job, Dr Sutton noted. 

Documents tendered to the inquiry revealed some of the security guards had expressed concerns about something as simple as using hand sanitiser because it was against their religion.  

Dr Sutton told the inquiry he had no input into the hotel quarantine program despite being an expert in the field of infectious diseases. 

‘With the benefit of hindsight, I can see that using a highly casualised workforce, generally from a lower socio-economic background, where that means that poor leave provisions limit how one can care for and financially support one’s family if unwell,’ Dr Sutton wrote in his submission to the inquiry.

In August, the premier told a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing that claims Australia Defence Force personnel had been offered to man Victoria’s hotels was wrong.

‘[It’s] fundamentally incorrect to assert that there were hundreds of ADF staff on offer and somehow, someone said no,’ he said.

'Wrong cohorts': Security guards working at hotels have been blamed for Victoria's deadly second COVID-19 wave

'Wrong cohorts': Security guards working at hotels have been blamed for Victoria's deadly second COVID-19 wave

‘Wrong cohorts’: Security guards working at hotels have been blamed for Victoria’s deadly second COVID-19 wave 

The use of ADF personnel was noted by the police minister before the program even kicked off

The use of ADF personnel was noted by the police minister before the program even kicked off

The use of ADF personnel was noted by the police minister before the program even kicked off

This week, police minister Lisa Neville said she had not been consulted either and was surprised when during a March 27 meeting with Victoria Police and Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp the decision to employ private security appeared to have been set.  

While Mr Ashton claimed he did not make the decision, he had no issue with private security being used at the hotels. 

‘It made sense at the time,’ Mr Ashton told the inquiry.

While a decision of the board cannot be predicted, that crucial March 27 meeting held on the day the premier announced the use of private security guards provides frustrated Victorians with the best chance of working out what exactly happened.

At the State Control Centre, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Grainger told Mr Crisp it was the preference of Victoria Police that private security get the hotel gig. 

Victoria Police has argued since that they were simply expressing a preference, not a direction.  

Whatever the case, after that meeting the decision appeared to be set in stone. 

‘I take that as a clear direction we should go off and do it,’ Jobs department secretary Simon Phemister told the inquiry.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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