The move came after queries emerged over the evidence of Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton that he did not learn of the use of private security guards in the bungled quarantine scheme until the first coronavirus outbreak in the hotels in late May. However, newspaper reports emerged about senior health department officials privately disputing this evidence, leading to demands from the inquiry for the production of an email chain involving Professor Sutton from March 27 – the day the program commenced – that mentioned the use of guards.
It revealed that DHHS had provided the firm with more than 500,000 documents to be reviewed – including the email to Mr Sutton about the use of security guards but not his response – of which 4000 were identified as critically relevant to the inquiry.
The chief executives of seven of Australia's largest companies have sent an open letter to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, telling him the continuing lockdown in his state is unsustainable because of the personal and financial toll it is inflicting on people.
Union-aligned industry superannuation fund managers have pressured Mr McNamee to stop his outspoken criticisms of the state government lockdown, even though he has repeatedly said he is speaking in a personal capacity and not for the company.
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia chief executive Peter Strong said there seemed to be a "terrible" implicit message from the state government that if you argued against the ongoing lockdown, you didn't care about people's health.
Melbourne-based Institute of Public Accountants chief executive Andrew Conway said two accountant members he knew had reported the suicides of four Victorian clients who were under financial stress due to business shutdowns.