“There are no rules for this, no one in Victoria has done it before,” he told a press conference in Melbourne on Thursday. “We took the steps that experts believed were necessary to save lives.”
Investigators found that although the state’s acting health official signed the order approving the lockdown, she was unaware of the government’s plans to put it into effect so suddenly. The report said she had only 15 minutes to consider the terms of several documents and their human rights implications before details of the lockdown were made public.
“We might be tempted, during a crisis, to view human rights as essential to saving human lives,” the report warns. “This thinking can lead to dangerous territory.”
Ebyon Hassan, 32, who lives in one of the towers in the North Melbourne suburb and lost his father to coronavirus in late July, said of the report: “It is no surprise that the rights of the man were raped. “
She and other residents said they had been extremely disappointed with the lack of government services following the lockdown.
“Everyone is just trying to heal and recover,” she added. “Apologies, it’s the least they can do.”
Australian officials have hoped their handling of the virus would allow for a “Covid-normal” Christmas. Victoria state, which by the end of November had effectively eliminated the coronavirus for the second time, has now gone 48 days without any new locally transmitted cases.