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The Victorian Government Spent $7.7M on Inquiry Lawyers

The Victorian government spent more on lawyers representing them at the hotel quarantine inquiry than it did on the entire probe. The inquiry, led by retired judge Jennifer Coate, cost a total of $4.8 million but was unable to identify a single person responsible for the fatal decision to use private security guards in hotels. More than 18,000 COVID-19 infections and 800 deaths can be traced back to guards working at Rydges on Swanston and Stamford Plaza in May and June. According to figures given to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee’s (PAEC) COVID-19 inquiry, the government spent at least $7.7 million on legal representation. The Department of Health and Human Services spent $6.25 million, the Department of Premier and Cabinet spent $1.01 million and the Department of Treasury and Finance spent $446,000. The DPC and Treasury stated their legal fees will be reimbursed through insurance arrangements. None of the …