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Police Minister says military deployment in Victorian quarantine hotels was never considered

Victoria never considered using the military to monitor returned travellers in hotel quarantine and the defence force will not assist with enforcing the limited lockdown which begins tonight, the Police Minister has revealed.

Police Minister Lisa Neville says police don’t require the help of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel to monitor hot spots.

“Police have indicated they don’t need assistance, they’ve got the resources they need,” she told Neil Mitchell.

“We’ve got a 500 sentinel team. We’ve also got PSOs.

“They’ve been going through this since March.”

New South Wales has deployed ADF personnel to run hotel quarantine with great success. No workers at hotels housing quarantined travellers in NSW have tested positive to COVID-19, while in Victoria, where the ADF is not involved, there have been significant outbreaks at two hotels.

But Ms Neville says using ADF forces to run quarantine has never been considered in Victoria.

“I think we’re using the ADF in the best possible way,” she said.

“They’ve been based with us in the state control centre, in the health team, looking at planning and logistics … that’s where they are well placed.”

Ms Neville said she’s confident current arrangements will ensure compliance with stage three lockdown in 10 postcodes across Melbourne.

“I’m very confident that with the combination of police enforcing, plus the door knocking, plus the range of testing and the fact that the numbers keep going up, which much be of concern to the people in those communities … we can do this and do it well and get on top of this,” she said.

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