“The NSW Government will work closely with the Commonwealth to adopt all recommendations made by Mr Walker.”
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the report identified a number of concerning mistakes.
“Over the weekend I reviewed the Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess, and it is clear mistakes were made by NSW Health and others,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I recognise the hurt and suffering these mistakes caused, and I apologise for that.
“These issues occurred during an extraordinary time of great uncertainty, and as we navigate this pandemic we will continue to learn from mistakes and where we could have done better.
“We have learned from the Ruby Princess and the public can have confidence we will avoid such a situation occurring again.”
Ms Berejiklian said given the ongoing pandemic, she expected the recommendations relating to NSW to be implemented as soon as possible, and work to begin immediately with the Federal Government on the other recommendations.
A criminal investigation is being carried out by NSW police into the incident.
Police Commission Mick Fuller told The Sydney Morning Herald: “There are tens of thousands of documents that have been sourced. There are surveys and interviews. I think there’s 1,200 people so far that have given interviews.”
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said staff had “identified in hindsight they would have made a different decision”, but she added staff had been under pressure at the time from the large number of Covid-19 cases.
The Walker investigation, which highlighting a number of failures, made surprisingly few recommendations as to what should be done.
The case has already divided Cruise Passenger readers, with many saying heads should roll.
Here are some of the comments:
Lisa Zietlow Willard Congrats to those passengers who jumped on a plane, train or bus, went home after stocking up on essentials & isolated for two weeks. You did as you were advised not knowing this was inadequate information from Mr Hazard’s dept. Congrats to the ships doctor for being exonerated. Why does Mr Health Hazard still have his job? Ministers get sacked for less?
Anne McLennan I disagree with angry blaming of NSW Health, as I disagreed with the blame levelled at Princess. The blame lies solely with the Virus itself. There were NO protocols in place to deal with the situation that arose. Protocols were still being formed as the virus was invading the country by air and sea. Hotel quarantine was not yet a thing. The virus got ahead of the protocols. Apologies have already been made. Individuals within government departments were doing their best with advice that was available at the time, which is still the case today.
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