Pics from the inquiry into the bungled Melbourne hotel quarantine are here, and snaps of individuals leaving their mandatory hotel stays have been made public. But they all have one thing in common… a dreaded street named Rona Walk.
Coincidence? I think the fuck not.
As per the ABC, a former police officer, whose name was redacted, wrote to Victoria Police Commander Tim Tully, expressing concern that quarantined guests at the Pan Pacific Hotel at South Wharf were breaching their strict isolation guidelines.
“Tim, we have quarantined people out again this morning, you will see one has tried to enter the convenience store,” the former officer wrote.
Police were also emailed pictures that looked like they were straight from a spy movie, where the guests in question can be seen walking by a Melbourne street named Rona Walk. Conspiracy theorists enter through the left door, please.
“I happen (sic) to see one guest go down Rona Walk and stand in front of the urban hub (sic),” wrote the officer.
“The guard went and spoke to him and he went back into the exclusion area. We even saw what looked like someone with a takeaway coffee.”
Important breaches of quarantine aside, what on Earth is Rona Wk and why were all the quarantined folks being spotted nearby it?
I put on my own detective hat for a quick sec and discovered Rona Walk is only two minutes away from the quarantine hotel location.
Well, would you look at that? The enormous breach that resulted in all of Melbourne locking down all over again was concentrated right on a 150m stretch of concrete that shares its name with the pandemic. Someone get the PM on the phone, we’ve blown this one right open, here.
But in all reality, these quarantined individuals – who should have definitely been inside – were probably grabbing a law-breaking coffee from Charlie Lovett. It’s just a wildly 2020 coincidence that they happened to be isolating near Rona Walk.
The pictures of the quarantined guests were eventually forwarded to Assistant Commissioner Mick Grainger and then passed on to senior bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The inquiry has also found that Grainger contacted a senior DHHS official on April 14, telling them that the hotel security and the police should defs meet up ASAP. I mean, these pics are pretty damning.
Commander Tully then wrote the next day to Grainger, saying he will inform the DHHS with all the necessary information before any sort of meeting.
“I will forward the pictures we received today so they have a direct line of sight of this,” the email said.
“It may mean DHHS directly engages with security to address the immediate concerns before it becomes an issue in the media.”
After the meeting, it was agreed there were concerns around quarantined guests exercising outdoors, but it was determined that police would not be required to be on-site 24/7.
And, well, now metro Melbourne is in its 37th day of Stage 4 lockdowns.