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Deputy chief health officer to face questioning

2 weeks ago 6

The general manager of cleaning company Ikon Services Australia is set to be grilled as the hotel quarantine inquiry continues on Friday.

Michael Girgis will face questions at a hearing from 10am, while Department of Health and Human Services policy advisor Merrin Bamert will also appear.

She will be joined by two other witnesses from the DHHS – deputy chief health officer Dr Annaliese Van Diemen and director Pam Williams.

It comes after explosive claims on Thursday that chief health officer Brett Sutton was rolled by a senior health bureaucrat who refused to appoint him to the position of state controller of the COVID-19 crisis.

The hotel quarantine inquiry heard evidence that Professor Sutton disagreed with the decision to sideline him from the job, explicitly laid out for him under Victoria’s emergency health plans.

DHHS deputy secretary Melissa Skilbeck said her decision to appoint someone other than Prof Sutton was made because of “the significant demands on the time of the CHO’’ and the requirement for him to lead “public health communications with the Victorian community”.

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