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September 2021

WorkSafe Victoria charges Vic Gov Health Department over hotel quarantine

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The Department of Health, formerly the Department of Health and Human Services, has been charged with 17 breaches of Section 21(1) of the OHS Act, in that it failed to provide and maintain, as far as reasonably practicable, a working environment that was safe and without risks to health for its employees.

The department has been charged with a further 41 breaches of section 23 (1) of the OHS Act, in that it failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that persons other than employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety arising from conduct of its undertaking.

Between March and July 2020, the Department of Health was responsible for the oversight and co-ordination of Operation Soteria, Victoria's first hotel quarantine program.

WorkSafe alleges that the Department of Health breached OHS laws by failing to appoint people with infection prevention and control (IPC) expertise to be stationed at hotels it was utilising for the program.

It alleges the department failed to provide security guards with face-to-face infection prevention control training by a person with expertise in IPC prior to them commencing work, and either failed, or initially failed, to provide written instruction for the use of PPE.

WorkSafe further alleges the department failed to update written instructions relating to the wearing of masks at several of the hotels.

In all charges, WorkSafe alleges that Department of Health employees, Victorian Government Authorised Officers on secondment, or security guards were put at risk of serious illness or death through contracting COVID-19 from an infected returned traveller, another person working in the hotels or from a contaminated surface.

The maximum penalty for a body corporate for each of these charges is $1.64 million (9000 penalty units).

This complex investigation took 15 months to complete and involved reviewing tens of thousands of documents and multiple witness interviews.

A review of the material from last year's COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry provided relevant context and information that informed parts of the investigation.

The decision to prosecute has been made in accordance with WorkSafe's General Prosecution Guidelines, which require WorkSafe to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to support a reasonable prospect of conviction and whether bringing a prosecution is in the public interest.

Inquiries into other entities associated with this investigation including hotels, security firms and other Government departments and agencies have concluded.

The matter is listed for a filing hearing at the Magistrates' Court on 22 October and WorkSafe will not be providing further comment, as the matter is now before the court.

A number of other investigations relating to the control of COVID-19 related risks in workplaces remain ongoing.


NSW Supreme Court judge asks public not to contact him over Covid legal challenge

You can watch the matter here:



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A NSW Supreme Court judge has taken the extraordinary step of warning the public not to contact him as he prepares to hear a test case over NSW’s public health orders this week.

Justice Robert Beech-Jones will oversee a three-day trial in which Health Minister Brad Hazzard will defend the state government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Two plaintiffs, Al-Munir Kassam and Natasha Henry, have filed civil suits challenging ­aspects of the public health ­orders instituted in response to the latest outbreak fuelled by the Delta variant.

Starting this Thursday, Justice Beech-Jones will hear the challenge to the rules that state essential workers must receive their first vaccinations by September 19 if they are to leave an LGA of concern for work purposes.

A Supreme Court spokesman confirmed that as of early Tuesday afternoon, Justice Beech-Jones’ chambers had ­received more than 1800 emails.

Anti-vaccine groups shared online messages encouraging people to contact Justice Beech-Jones and express their views on so-called mandatory vaccinations.

“EVERYONE needs to email and tell him that you oppose mandatory vaccinations, and you believe it is the individual’s right to choose,” said one call-out shared on social media.

The matter has attracted such immense interest that the court has been streaming all mentions of the matter on YouTube, with about 25,000 people on Tuesday morning tuning in to a directions hearing to deal with procedural issues.

Justice Beech-Jones took the unorthodox step of warning those watching online not to contact him unless they were lawyers for the two parties.

He said the deluge of emails and phone calls to his chambers had been so great, those with legitimate business with the court were having trouble getting through. He said he would not take any correspondence into consideration.

“Please understand I will not read any of your emails or take any of your calls,” Justice Beech-Jones said.

“People who do so risk interfering with the administration of justice. And anyone who encourages any of this to happen is equally encouraging the interference with the administration of justice.”

The matter will be subject to a three-day hearing starting on Thursday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday announced that on ­December 1, unvaccinated persons would have restrictions lifted as part of a staged repealing of lockdown measures.

Barrister Jeremy Kirk, acting for Mr Hazzard, said he did not know if this would include the easing of restrictions which are being challenged in the suit.

The government is facing a further wave of lawsuits with another two other civil suits challenging the public health orders to go to trial in early November.

John Larter, a paramedic and southern NSW deputy mayor, is challenging rules stating that health staff must receive their first jabs by September 30 and be fully vaccinated by November 30.

National Police Remembrance Day. Lest We Forget

I have some very strong memories today, of a Victoria Police Force that was.

Today, I pay my respect to friends who were killed in the line of duty.

And to a Police Force that is no more.

Congratulations from police academy

Angela Rose Taylor was murdered by Craig Minogue and others in the 1986 Russell Street bombing.

I was at the Academy for Constable Taylor's funeral and feel privileged and humbled to have been awarded the Angela Taylor Memorial Prize when I graduated.

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Thank you for your service and sacrifice Angela.

Steve Tynan and Damian Eyre were at the Academy with my squad-mates and me.

In 1988 vicious killers lured Steve and Damian to an ambush in Walsh Street South Yarra.

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Steve and Damian were cut down with shotgun blasts then finished off with point-blank shots from their own service revolvers. 

I had the privilege of leading the funeral parade with full police honours out of the Victoria Police Academy.

I will never forget right wheeling out of the Academy to be confronted with thousands of police in uniforms representing the whole country standing shoulder to shoulder lining the street.  It was a very long, slow march as one by one they saluted those brave young blokes.

Thank you for your service and sacrifice Steve and Damo.

I also served with Gary Silk, my regular partner on the Port Melbourne divvy van.

In August 1996 Gary and Rod Miller were sitting off an armed robbery target, the Silky Emperor Restaurant in Moorabbin.

Vicious criminals Bandali Debs and Jason Roberts shot and killed them from behind.  They didn't stand a chance.

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It's a privilege to have known and worked with you Gary, thank you for your service and sacrifice.

We talk a lot about our Glorious Dead from wars and we give thanks for our veterans who've served overseas.

Police face deadly risks every day they go to work.

And not just for the months of a deployment.  Year in, year out.

There's no Gold Card for police, no Department of Veterans Affairs looking out for them and no TPI pension either.

Lest We Forget.

Greta the Climate Child, "Blah blah blah"

More from our great mate Stu of NT!

US media on Australia's 'disgusting prime minister' Morrison

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke to the UN General Assembly last week. The Aussie leader promoted his country’s long tradition of freedom and human rights.

Deactivist took the Prime Minister’s speech and filled it in with reality.

Australia under Morrison is unrecognizable. Surely, he knows this. And obviously, he doesn’t care.
This is one of the best videos made on the new world order and lying politicians.

The video is already marked for adults by YouTube for some reason.

Afghanistan catastrophe. Biden lied.

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Weak & Woke - Channel Nine pulls 'Worksafe must prosecute Andrews' ad

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(Yesterday) afternoon we informed you that our TV advert would start airing on Channel 9 during the 6pm evening news in Victoria. The ad has been pre-paid and checked and classified for airing by CAD.
At 8 minutes to 6 (last night) Channel 9 pulled the ad. No reason. Our media team will be talking to Channel 9 (today). Channel 9 is of course an independent commercial organisation. It can do what it likes.
But from our perspective we can only feel that our ad must be hugely powerful and perhaps scares the hell out of some people. Who knows why Channel 9 would pull the ad? What do you think?
Channel 9 is interested in what the public think. People keep asking us how they can help the Not Above The Law campaign. Here’s something you can do. Let Channel 9 know what you think of them pulling the ad.
Here’s Channel 9’s Facebook page:
And Nine’s online complaints form:
Let them know what you think.
Here’s our ad again. Pass it on to as many people as you can.

With best wishes.


Ken Phillips and the
Team at Self-Employed Australia