General manager of Victoria’s hotel quarantine is STOOD DOWN for ‘refusing a Covid test and breaching infection controls’ – as shocking errors by hotel staff and nurses are revealed
- Quarantine incident reviews have been leaked to media and reveal breaches
- General manager Matiu Bush was accused of not signing in and refusing test
- Minister for Government Services said he had been stood down during review
Stood down: Quarantine manager Matiu Bush
The general manager of Victoria’s hotel quarantine programme has been stood down after reports emerged that he refused a Covid-19 test and breached infection control protocols while in charge.
Matiu Bush reportedly refused to have the test – which is required of all quarantine workers every day – when leaving the Intercontinental Hotel at 12.05pm on April 20.
Government incident reports obtained by The Australian stated that when an ADF corporal told him to get tested, he replied words to the effect of ‘I’m the head of IPC and I override that protocol’ before walking off.
Another operational incidents review stated that he and two other public servants refused to sign in using their QR codes when entering the Pullman Hotel at 12.57pm on March 1.
The review said: ‘When signing in they were asked to sign in via their personal QR code… They refused, stating that as they have been vaccinated they are not required to do so and instead manually signed in the visitor log.’
At 3.30pm the same group entered the Mercure Hotel and, according to the incident review, ‘walked past the sanitising station without sanitising and also did not change masks’.
The group told reception staff they ‘had ducked out for coffee, and that the hotel is empty anyway,’ the review said.
The review also said Mr Bush ‘did not sign out upon his departure from the hotel’.
A spokesman for Quarantine Victoria said Mr Bush had been ‘counselled’ over both incidents.
But amid furore on Wednesday morning, Danny Pearson, Minister for Government Services said he had been stood down.
Other incidents include contractors and bureaucrats being allowed to enter or trying to enter hotel sites in Melbourne despite not be being vaccinated, as is required
‘Last night I become aware of reports in relation to Mr Bush and I formed the opinion overnight that Mr Bush needs to be stood down pending a review,’ Mr Pearson said.
The daily incident review documents, published in The Australian on Wednesday, also revealed a shocking series of infection control breaches by staff and nurses.
On April 15 a nurse was given a guest’s nebulizer in a box with a sign saying it was not be given to guests.
But she got on the guest’s bus from the airport and asked if they needed it during their stay.
She was told that nebulizers are not to be used because they may increase the risk of viral spread.
On April 10, at Stamford Plaza, a pathology assistant was openly vaping ‘an aloe vera substance’ infront of other Covid-19 testers, even though vaping was banned because it could set off the fire alarm of help spread viral particals.
An incident review said she twice refused to stop and ‘became very dismissive’.
The woman was also caught vaping again at 4.45pm that day while walking down the hotel corridor stairs.
The next day she was asked to leave by a manager.
Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said the government had failed to learn from its mistakes. Pictured: The Holiday Inn hotel at Melbourne Airport
Other incidents include contractors and bureaucrats being allowed to enter or trying to enter hotel sites in Melbourne despite not be being vaccinated, as is required.
While nearly all were told to leave once their vaccination status was known, in some cases it was not checked when they entered.
Victoria’s quarantine program was overhauled after the state’s second wave, which last year resulted in more than 18,000 new infections, 800 deaths and an 112-day lockdown.
Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said the government had failed to learn from its mistakes.
‘Every single day we see new evidence that this government still hasn’t got hotel quarantine right,’ he told reporters outside parliament on Wednesday.
‘Now all Victorians are at risk, every Victorian is exposed because this government is just incompetent, they can’t do the basics right.’