You’ll likely be aware that last Wednesday (29 September) WorkSafe Victoria announced that it is prosecuting the Victorian Health Department for work safety breaches over the hotel quarantine disaster of 2020. The only problem is it is not going to prosecute any individuals.
It’s like prosecuting a gun for murder but not prosecuting the person who pulled the trigger. It’s plain dumb. But it’s also an affront to the rule of law in a supposedly civilised society. It also exposes WorkSafe as being two-faced.
On Monday, for example, after a WorkSafe prosecution, the operator of a skating rink was personally convicted and fined over unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. So where are the individuals responsible for the hotel quarantine disaster? Why isn’t the same standard applied? No-one should be above the law.
We think that the Health Department will likely plead guilty, pay a fine and there will be no trial. Individuals would walk away! This scenario could look like a legal ‘checkmate’ by WorkSafe. In other words, WorkSafe is looking to close down our campaign to prosecute 26 other government entities and individuals for the hotel quarantine mess that led to 801 deaths.
So what’s happened?
WorkSafe wrote to us effectively saying ‘case closed’. Here’s its letter of 29 September.
But we wrote back the same day responding ‘on ya bike chum!’ Here’s our letter.
Also that same day we lodged our formal complaint with the Victorian Ombudsman.
The Victorian Solicitor–General received a letter from us the following day.
Our campaign is only just warming up.
You’ve seen our TV ad? There’s more to come!
WorkSafe is prosecuting small businesses for not having Covid plans. But when it comes to the Victorian government, WorkSafe’s approach looks highly suspect. Why is it ignoring the plain, published evidence supporting the case for the prosecution? Remember the Coate Inquiry provided the evidence. We have analysed the evidence. The case to prosecute is starkly clear.
What we have on our side is facts, truth and the need for justice in a country where the rule of law is supposed to apply. We’re not like communist China, or at least we’re not supposed to be.
The thing is, it’s necessary to campaign hard to ensure that the rule of law is a living reality and not some fictional legal fairy tale. When a key institution that’s supposed to apply the rule of law, flouts the rule of law, it’s essential that we not give up.
Huge thanks to the expanding ‘army’ of supporters who are backing the campaign and making it possible.