Today the Victorian Ombudsman, Deborah Glass, tabled the report of her Investigation into the Detention and Treatment of Public Housing Residents Arising From a COVID-19 ‘Hard Lockdown’ in July 2020, in the Victorian Parliament.


The report includes a number of significant findings and recommendations.


We support these recommendations, some of which, we acknowledge are already in the process of being actioned or have been actioned.


It is our expectation that the Ombudsman’s findings will be considered closely, so that the trauma and distrust caused by the hard lockdown can never happen again.


Communities like those in Flemington and North Melbourne are tight knit and resilient. This is a strength. It is our firm belief that earlier engagement between community and the Department of Health and Human Services could have prevented a number of the mistakes which naturally occurred in the swift rollout of the lockdown.


The hard lockdown has led to a renewed, deep communication between these communities and the Department, which we are eager to see this extended to all public housing communities in Victoria.


Executive Officer of the VPTA, Mark Feenane, said:


“The hard lockdowns were difficult and distressing for residents to experience, and for Victorians to watch.


“While the lockdown was ultimately successful in preventing the spread of covid-19 further among the effected buildings, we want to see all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations accepted and implemented, so that we can ensure such action is never needed again.”