Victorians deserve to know extent of 'significant' hotel quarantine failures, Josh Frydenberg says

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says Victorians deserve to know the extent of the failures in the state's hotel quarantine program.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg arrives to address the media during a federal budget update, ahead of the 2020/21 budget scheduled for October, at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, July 23, 2020. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg Source: AAP

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has again called out the Victorian government over significant failures in its hotel quarantine system, saying the mistakes must be explained.

Genomic testing indicates the botched program could have sparked Victoria's deadly coronavirus second wave.

Victoria announced , taking the national death toll to 314. The number of new cases is 322.


Mr Frydenberg, who is self-isolating in Canberra ahead of the next federal parliament sitting, said it should never have reached the point where the state was recording hundreds of new cases and multiple deaths a day.

"It's very very difficult emotionally, it's difficult obviously on the economy as well," he told 2GB radio on Monday.

"We know with respect to quarantine, there have been very significant failures with deadly consequences. Victorians deserve answers. I'll leave that to Daniel Andrews and his government to provide."

With an independent review of the quarantine program to begin next week, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has said she is "deeply sorry" if she hadn't done enough to prevent the virus spreading.

It is not yet clear whether infections in Victoria's outbreak have peaked, although there have been encouraging signs in recent days.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth is hopeful case numbers in Victoria will soon drop.

"It's important to wait for the trend to emerge, but we do have some confidence in the coming days to week we'll see those numbers come down," he told the ABC.

"What is happening in Victoria could happen anywhere and it just behoves us to all change our behaviour for the coming months while we get this situation under control."

Given the uncertain outlook for the economy, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has opened the door to changing JobKeeper wage subsidies.

Last week, the government announced a further $15 billion injection into the program and granted businesses easier access.

The scheme will step down from a fortnightly payment of $1500 a week to $1200 at the end of September and then down to $1000 from December to March.

Senator Cormann said "if facts change" the fiscal support could continue beyond March.

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am.

During the curfew, people in Melbourne can only leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons. Between 5am and 8pm, people in Melbourne can leave the home for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative.

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at 

3 min read
Published 10 August 2020 at 9:44am
Source: AAP, SBS