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Report of the Inquiry into the Victorian government’s COVID–19 contact tracing system and testing regime

COVID-19 Pandemics Disease management Public health Victoria

The Terms of Reference required the Legal and Social Issues Committee to inquire into the capacity and fitness for purpose of the Victorian government’s COVID-19 contact tracing system and testing regime. They also requested that the Committee consult businesses, including small business representatives, the community sector and Victoria’s multicultural communities in order to determine the capacity and fitness for purpose of the government’s approach.

There is no question that the Victorian Government and its agencies, in particular the Department of Health and Human Services, faced an unprecedented public health challenge in 2020. This is true for jurisdictions across the globe. The testing regime and contact tracing system adopted in Victoria in response to the pandemic was significantly overwhelmed following a large-scale outbreak in June 2020.

This report seeks to, where possible, assure Victorians that the testing regime and contact tracing system currently in place is:

  • fit for purpose, and
  • has sufficient capacity to adapt to a variety of pandemic scenarios

In this report, the Committee seeks to identify issues that arose during the pandemic and assess decisions that were made by the Victorian Government and its agencies which led to the system becoming overwhelmed. The report seeks to determine whether the Victorian government has recognised that elements of its response to COVID-19 were not adequate and whether the system has been refined as a result.

The Committee makes a number of recommendations in relation to issues which they believe require addressing by the government as a matter of urgency.

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