HOTEL QUARANTINE CHARGES DROPPED

Charges against the Victorian government over breaches of our OHS Act that occurred during the COVID-19 hotel quarantine program, have been dropped.

The government faced 58 charges after infection control failures in the initial hotel quarantine program contributed to a deadly COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

Prosecutors dropped the charges because evidence from 10 key witnesses was deemed inadmissible by the court in a pre-trial ruling.

The witnesses, all agents or employees of the health department, had provided evidence to an inquiry into the hotel quarantine program, which couldn't be used in criminal proceedings due to legal restrictions.

The spokesperson for Victoria's Office of Public Prosecutions said laws which restricted the use of information given in an inquiry in criminal proceedings had informed the decision.

Without crucial evidence, prosecutors concluded there were no reasonable prospects of conviction.

WorkSafe have expressed disappointment over the discontinuation of the criminal proceedings.

The COVID-19 outbreak linked to hotel quarantine failures in Victoria's first wave led to hundreds of deaths during the state's second wave in 2020.

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