Lessons from Victoria’s COVID-19 failures
Submission to the Victorian Parliamentary committee on COVID, September 2020
Overall, Australia – including Victoria – handled the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic well. But our early success created an air of complacency, and so we were poorly prepared when the second wave struck.
Victoria’s overall approach to the second wave included Level 3 and Level 4 lockdowns. Those were appropriate and proportionate. But much of the response in Victoria was mishandled. There were failures of management, contact tracing, communications, and coordination.
As Grattan Institute’s Health Program Director Stephen Duckett shows in this submission to the Victorian parliamentary committee on COVID-19, the key lessons from this litany of failures are that the Victorian government needs to reinvest in public health staffing and infrastructure, and that additional investment in social housing should be part of the post-pandemic recovery strategy.