Updated: Aug 21, 2020
WARNING: The content of this post will offend some readers.
We are in more trouble than the early settlers.
In the 90's, this phrase was trotted out by various footy commentators to indicate the precarious position of a player or team at the point of no return. Even the early settlers recognised that Terra Australis was free of disease and were conscious of the potentially devastating impacts of disease finding its way to the great southern land.
The Victorian Public Health Act ascended to law in 1865 and the Health Act in 1890. In Australia, five Sanitary Conferences were also held between 1884-1909 and during this period, a federal system was developed. The great state of Victoria took a primary role in shaping this system. Talk about a fall from grace.
Back then, the thinking was logical, planned and well executed. Point Nepean (Portsea) was chosen as a site for an acceptable location for a permanent quarantine station. The Port Phillip District Health Officer, Dr Thomas Hunt, had the following to say about the selected site: "The Sanitary Station is admirably adapted for the purposes required; its position isolated, its anchorage good and easy of access both from inside the Heads when a vessel takes a pilot there and from Shortlands Bluff. The soil is sandy and at all times dry, the air pure". Fast forward 150 years and with the benefit of hindsight, history, data, communications, technology, advances in medicine and research capabilities, we have literally gone backward.
The modern Victorian government are completely hopeless. Their predecessors run rings around them. The concept of quarantine is simple, but requires military precision to be effected properly. It stands to reason, that this kind of operation, should be run by the military. I wonder what brain snap led to the decision not to accept the offer of the ADF. I can see the buffoons now clenching their fists, 'we got this'.
These are the facts.
1. A bunch of unqualified public servants developed a policy to quarantine returning travellers;
2. Hospitality workers, casual security guards and a fragmented bunch of medical professionals were placed on the front line in harms way;
3. Returning travellers were forced into unsafe environments and policed with threats of prosecution;
4. The state of Victoria has been been placed in lockdown with the threat of prosecution;
5. The economy is ruined and unemployment is spiralling;
6. Mental health is at an all time low.
Jennifer Coate is chairing a Hotel Quarantine Inquiry. The word 'Hotel' seems to be lost in all this. Hotel staff are 'bona fide' members of our industry, an industry that has been hit hard. They received little or no training and Daniel Andrews and his masked crusaders expect these poor people to run his ill conceived scheme. Shame on you mate. You have blood on your hands. I sincerely hope that you and your cabinet are the first victims of your own heavily punitive industrial manslaughter legislation. Yes, that means the big house. At least there, they know how to manage their prisoners.
Karma's a bitch.