An AFL WAG has slammed Victoria’s bungling Covid response after staff at Australia Post revealed they still don’t have a mandatory QR code check-in system – even as residents endure their fourth lockdown.
Maddie Sullivan-Thorpe, the fiancée of Western Bulldogs midfielder Lachie Hunter, visited the Port Melbourne post store on Monday and attempted to log her visit via the official contact tracing app.
But she claims staff told her she wasn’t required to check-in via the app – despite the presence of the mutant Indian strain of Covid within the local community.
Victoria has contributed 820 of the nation’s 910 Covid deaths and struggled to contain outbreaks that other states have managed with ease through the use of strong contact tracing teams and short, sharp ‘circuit breaker’ lockdowns.
Maddie Sullivan-Thorpe claims staff told her she wasn’t required to check-in via the app – despite the presence of the mutant Indian strain of Covid within the local community
Maddie Sullivan-Thorpe, the fiancée of Western Bulldogs midfielder Lachie Hunter (pictured together), visited the Port Melbourne post store on Monday and attempted to log her visit via the official contact tracing app
And yet, the Education State failed to implement a universal QR code app until just last Friday – a day after residents were plunged into their fourth lockdown.
An easy to use, mandatory QR code app makes it easier for officials to trace close contacts in the event of an uncontained Covid outbreak.
Victorians can only leave their homes for five reasons; to shop for essentials, provide or receive care, exercise, work or study or get vaccinated. Australia Post also confirmed stores would remain open during the lockdown.
Ms Sullivan-Thorpe revealed she was trying to do the right thing when visiting the Australia Post store by logging her whereabouts when she was told that it wasn’t possible.
She claims she was told they simply ‘didn’t have one’ when she asked staff how to check in.
‘C’mon AusPost,’ she said. ‘If my locals can do it, you sure as hell can too.’
Staff are seen leaving Arcare Aged Care facility in Maidstone, Melbourne on May 31st amid an outbreak in the centre
Ms Sullivan-Thorpe revealed she was trying to do the right thing when visiting the Australia Post store by logging her whereabouts when she was told that it wasn’t possible
Victoria was plunged into a snap seven-day lockdown – which will likely be extended – last Thursday after the mutant Indian strain of Covid was found in the community.
In just over a week since the discovery of the first case, the tally of local infections stands at 54.
Victorians – along with the rest of Australia – have been scratching their heads and wondering how the state has wound up dealing with yet another widespread outbreak.
But Health Minister Martin Foley indicated residents had become complacent almost three weeks ago when he revealed check-in numbers were plummeting.
A survey conducted by the Victorian government revealed just 41 per cent of visitors to hospitality venues reported checking in every time during April, down from 54 per cent in February.
Pictured: Staff members of the Royal Freemasons Coppin Centre receive COVID tests in the carpark
The Education State failed to implement a universal QR code app until just last Friday – a day after residents were plunged into their fourth lockdown
Just 44 per cent of people checked in at gyms, pools or outdoor training facilities, while 32 per cent checked in regularly at their hair and beauty appointments.
Mr Foley said there were ‘declining levels of compliance with the kind of measures we need to stay safe and stay open’.
New South Wales introduced mandatory QR systems six months ago, while Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia also have similar apps in use.
Streets are deserted in Melbourne (pictured on May 31) after the entire state of Victoria was plunged into a fourth mandatory lockdown
In just over a week since the discovery of the first case, the tally of local infections stands at 54. There are fears the lockdown will be extended
Ms Sullivan-Thorpe shared her experience to Instagram while wearing a blue face mask and in her car.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Australia Post for further information about the incident.
Her outrage comes 14 months after her footballer high school sweetheart was fined for breaching Melbourne’s Covid restrictions during his state’s first lockdown.
Hunter drunkenly crashed his SUV into four parked cars and fled to a mate’s house to continue drinking after an argument with Ms Sullivan-Thorpe.
He pleaded guilty to careless driving and drink-driving and was also fined $1,652 for a breach of coronavirus directions issued by the Chief Health Officer.
Ms Sullivan-Thorpe’s outrage comes 14 months after her footballer high school sweetheart was fined for breaching Melbourne’s Covid restrictions during his state’s first lockdown
Failings in Victoria’s handling of the Covid crisis
The Liberal-National Opposition believes the Victorian government – the only one in the country to put its whole state through four lockdowns – should be stumping up more cash to help stricken businesses and has pointed to several failures that have contributed to the latest shutdown.
Those include not implementing a uniform QR code check-in system until Friday, six months later than New South Wales – and overseeing a struggling contact tracing regime which desperately recruited university students on the eve of lockdown on Thursday.
The Labor government has also been criticised after it emerged quarantine boss Matiu Bush, who was suspended for allegedly refusing a Covid-19 test, is under investigation for hiring two gym trainers on $100,000 salaries to work as site leads in the quarantine program.
And during the first four days of the lockdown, further failings in Victoria’s pandemic response have been exposed.
While north of the border NSW has an orderly and efficient internet booking system for getting the vaccine, Victoria is relying on a phone hotline, which crashed on Friday due to demand.
The state is now rushing a new jab booking website, like NSW has had in place for at least a month. But that system was accidentally set live during the testing phase on Saturday night, prompting chaos among residents who thought they’d booked an appointment online.
Then on Saturday morning, hundreds were turned away from jab centres because the log-in system crashed.
Medical experts have also questioned the state government’s ‘unsustainable’ elimination strategy and preference for ‘total lockdown’, rather than localised restrictions, which has crippled thousands of regional businesses, despite no cases being recorded outside Melbourne.