Coate inquiry an important lesson, but our best defence now is the vaccine


The Victorian Greens have said the Andrews Labor Government should use the best available defence against the pandemic, which is the vaccine, to prevent a repeat of viral transmission from hotel quarantine.

The Coate inquiry report shows the importance of continually re-evaluating the response to a rapidly changing emergency, and so the focus should now be on how to best use the vaccine to protect us from another wave and another lockdown, rather than on finding someone to blame.

The Greens say that vaccinating hotel quarantine workers, and travellers before they fly to Australia, will be the key to preventing further outbreaks.

The Coate inquiry into the bungled hotel quarantine program confirmed what many Victorians knew already – that it was haphazardly put together and never properly reviewed, leading to the months-long lockdown across our state.

But while it is still unclear who gave the go ahead to hire private security as part of the program, the Greens say it is important to stay ahead of the pandemic rather than argue about who left the stable door open.

Victorian Greens spokesperson for health, Dr Tim Read, said efficiently vaccinating all hotel quarantine staff and incoming travellers would achieve more than spending time working out who said what, and when.

Dr Read added that while the Coate inquiry will be an invaluable tool when confronting future novel emergencies, right now our priority should be expediting the roll-out of new vaccines to end the need for quarantine and isolation.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for health, Dr Tim Read:

"We could waste time trying to nail the stable door shut, or we could focus on staying ahead of this pandemic.

"The Coate inquiry will provide many lessons for the government on how to act in future pandemics, but right now we need to focus on staying ahead of the pandemic we’re currently in.

"The best way to do this is by vaccinating hotel quarantine workers and people in the queue to come to Australia.

"It’s time to look to the future rather than figuring out who to blame."