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Hotel quarantine boss takes leave amid inquiry

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Hotel quarantine boss takes leave amid inquiry

The doctor in charge of WA’s hotel quarantine system has taken leave, as two inquiries into the program are ongoing.

The opposition has called on the state government to explain why Dr Robyn Lawrence was able to take leave during the investigation.

The inquiries are looking into how a hotel security guard contracted COVID-19, sending the Perth, Peel and South West regions into a five day lockdown.

Dr Lawrence, who is also the Deputy Chief Health Officer, will return to the Department on March 1.

Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup told WA Today the government need to urgently explain her absence.

“The Premier must immediately explain to the people of WA who is running the hotel quarantine system and whether any personnel changes have been made as a result of last week’s failures,” he said.

“WA has just been subject to a week-long lockdown because of the state government’s failures on hotel quarantine.

“Today we learn the Deputy Chief Health Officer in charge of hotel quarantine has taken leave.

“This is while two inquiries have been launched into the state government’s hotel quarantine failures.”

Shadow Minister assisting in Health, Tony Krsticevic, told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett the Government has a lot of questions to answer.

“We have just been locked down for five days, the system has been broken, and supposedly we’re fixing it and the person in charge has gone missing,” he said.

In a statement Director General at the Department of Health, Dr David Russell-Weisz, said the leave has been planned for months.

“Dr Lawrence has had two weeks planned leave for many months and an additional week was added recently. She has not had leave for 12 months,” he said.

The state government have been contacted for comment.

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: Peter De Kruijff/WA Today.)

Liam Bartlett