The thunderstorm asthma event that hit Melbourne on 21 and 22 November 2016 and saw nine people lose their lives was a tragedy for our community.
It is clear that on that evening paramedics, emergency service personnel and hospital workers did exceptional work in very trying circumstances.
However today’s final report by the Inspector General for Emergency Management into the response to the Thunderstorm Asthma event shows Victorians were let down by the Andrew’s Government who failed warn people, failed to activate appropriate emergency responses and failed to show the leadership such an event required.
The report is also silent on Minister Jill Hennessy’s role in the evening, other than her retweet of an Ambulance Victoria tweet.
The Inspector General has made 16 recommendations but Jill Hennessy has qualified her support by only accepting them “in-principle”.
Quotes attributable to the Shadow Minister for Health Mary Wooldridge:
“This report fails to review what the minister knew, when she knew it and what action she took.”
“All we know about the minister’s actions that night is she was watching television and live tweeting it.”
“If Jill Hennessey has nothing to fear then she has nothing to hide and there is no excuse to not disclose what time she knew and what actions she took before going back to her television watching.”