The Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton announced that two separate Covid commands have been set up with operations extending until at least the end of 2022 - possibly indefinitely.
One command is expected to manage Covid quarantine operations with the hotel system and any additional purpose-built quarantine facilities. The second is a response command designed to handle the daily task of enforcing state health mandates within the community.
Victoria is building at least one designated quarantine facility, strongly suggesting that far from 'living with Covid', the state government will attempt to manage the virus by restricting the flow of people into the state.
“We are establishing two commands,” said Commissioner Patton. “One is the Covid Quarantine Command which is obviously tied up in the quarantine hotels and with the new facility – tied up there. And one is the Covid Response Command which is the day-to-day operation.”
Commissioner Patton hinted that Covid and its associated health orders were going to become a permanent feature of the Victorian landscape, even after the termination of the state’s emergency powers.
“From a Victorian Police perspective, it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future. We’ve set these commands up as a minimum until the end of 2022.”
The news will concern individuals and business owners who were hoping for a return to normal after the vaccination levels reached a high enough figure to unlock the economy. The existence of a designated police taskforce to manage Covid orders means that health mandates will remain with the community.
Commissioner Patton was also asked his opinion on what the interviewer described as ‘splinter groups protesting’ but these groups could more accurately be referred to as part of a global protest movement against unconstitutional health orders.
“Apart from being the sporting capital of the world, I think that Victoria is the protest capital of the world because we have so many,” said Commissioner Patton.
In reality, Australia’s protests are small compared to those going on in other parts of the world such as France and Canada – mostly because Australian state authorities have imposed ruinous fines and jail time for those who organise and participate in anti-lockdown or ‘pro-freedom’ marches.
International protests have reached the point where many nations have had to scrap mandatory vaccination and Covid passports entirely.
“Now’s not the time when they should be protesting so it’s terribly concerning to me and it’s selfish – arrogant – behaviour,” finished Commissioner Patton, who doesn’t think that faith in police has been damaged by the police response to Covid health orders.
Liberal MP Tim Smith, who was part of the recent coup that re-installed Matthew Guy as leader of the Victorian Liberal Party, appeared critical of the move.