Today, 29 June 2021, Victorian WorkSafe finally replied to us as to whether it is prosecuting the Victorian Government over the hotel quarantine deaths scandal.
Its reply? ‘We need more time!’
Here’s its letter.
It’s a shocker! Talk about bureaucratic ‘we’re doing a good job but it’s complex’ spin!
Let’s look at the facts:
- It’s now 15 months since the hotel quarantine (deaths) program started.
- It’s some 12 months since WorkSafe claim it started investigating.
- It’s 9 months since we wrote to WorkSafe triggering provisions in the Work Safety Act requiring it to investigate. (Here’s our September 2020 ‘trigger’ letter.)
We’re dealing with the largest mass deaths in Victoria’s history from one event. WorkSafe’s performance on this displays gross incompetence at minimum. Or is this a cover-up? Is WorkSafe manoeuvring to protect people?
Consider this! WorkSafe has admitted that a prosecution must be brought within 2 years. Therefore if WorkSafe delays, can it claim the 2 years is up in March next year? Then no prosecution occurs? Can WorkSafe kill off justice by simply doing nothing?
Why did it take WorkSafe 3–4 months even to start an investigation? Incompetence or something else?
We’re not waiting. WorkSafe was required at law to reply to us today. It seems to do only what it is forced to do.
We’ve replied to WorkSafe today, triggering additional requirements under the Work Safety laws for WorkSafe to refer its investigation to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Here’s our letter.
The DPP then must review WorkSafe’s investigation files and recommend whether WorkSafe prosecute. Now will the DPP step up to the job? The clock is ticking.
This is the most critical test that the work safety and justice system in Victoria has ever faced. Are these authorities putting some people above the law? No-one should be above the law!
WorkSafe is failing this test. What will the DPP do?
This is about justice for the 801 people who died, their families, friends and the people of Victoria. It’s about the integrity of the work safety and justice system in Victoria.