27/05/2021 - 17:00

Ash to lead quarantine panel

27/05/2021 - 17:00

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Social services executive Sue Ash has been named independent chair of the state government’s newly formed quarantine advisory panel.

Ash to lead quarantine panel
Sue Ash was chief executive of Uniting WA and WA Council of Social Services. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Social services executive Sue Ash has been named independent chair of the state government’s newly formed quarantine advisory panel.

That panel, formed in the aftermath of a lockdown in Victoria sparked by a leak of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine, will provide the Department of Health with advice on Western Australia’s quarantine system.

Ms Ash, who was chief executive of Uniting WA and WA Council of Social Services as well as a former deputy chair of the state’s emergency management committee, will chair the 10-member panel.

The remaining nine members are: Department of Health director general David Russell-Weisz; chief health officer Andrew Robertson; WA Police Force commissioner Chris Dawson; Department of the Premier and Cabinet acting director general Emily Roper; Department of Finance acting director general Nicki Godecke; former South Metropolitan Health Service Board chair Rob McDonald; acting executive director of safety, freight and business management systems at the Public Transport Authority Garry Taylor; Monash University professor of infectious diseases epidemiology Allen Cheng; and University of Newcastle conjoint professor Alison Jones.

“The panel comprises public sector leaders and public health experts, all of whom have significant experience and credentials,” Roger Cook, the state’s health minister, said.

“They will be part of a vital forum to escalate and resolve risks around WA's current and future hotel quarantine arrangements.

“The work of this panel will provide assurance that WA's quarantine system is fit-for-purpose and responsive to the dynamic and complex challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Victoria reported 11 new cases overnight, plunging the state into a seven-day lockdown.

Most travel from that state to WA is now restricted.

WA last reported a case of COVID-19 in the community in April.

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