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Ruby Princess - Special Inquiry - Evidence To Date


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1 hour ago, mr walker said:

 

If the requirements are that you must have swabs, you must have swabs or not sail, unless you seek and get permission from the authorities -  I have seen no reference to an exemption being sought. It is not a matter of how easy or hard it is. If there was a shortage of car airbags, could the car company sell cars without them?

 

My concern is that Princess/Carnival have only been operating in damage control mode. The whole focus of their representative in the hearing has been to protect the brand & the employees, not in finding out how to prevent something similar in the future. Admit nothing and hang on for grim death must be their motto.

 

 

Mr Walker - your first point - that was what the Commissioner originally thought - his comments, as I recall it, were that it was essentially a lame excuse for a large multinational company to claim they could not get swabs - the exact process & efforts  how to get swabs was not made clear at that time - Princess final submission addressed it in some details

Re comment the parties operating in damage control and protect its employees/ brand - that was the attempt by ALL parties in making final submissions - including Health NSW, by attempts to persuade the Commissioner as to what was to be drawn from the evidence given (again the evidence is the key!)

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12 minutes ago, christodan said:

 

Funny, you should say that because thousands of people, including myself, were driving around for months and months with faulty airbags because there was a shortage.

Yes but they didn't sell the cars with no airbags. 

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6 minutes ago, mr walker said:

Yes but they didn't sell the cars with no airbags. 

 

No but they didn't say stop driving your cars it's too dangerous. And this is my point, authorities have to weigh up risks and benefits with everything. And if you want zero risk in life, then we would have to be told stay home and don't get out of bed ever. (Even that may not be guaranteed. I saw one poor man who was swallowed up in a sinkhole when he was in his bed!). 

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1 hour ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Didn't NSW Health give them a small pack of swabs? If so that would probably be seen to be tacit approval for the cruise to go ahead with limited swab supplies.

 

As Aus Traveller said, it is too easy to judge based on hindsight and current conditions.

NSW Health gave the ship swabs. As COVID was a fairly new disease on 8th March, was there a requirement that they had COVID swabs or was it a more general requirement regarding health equipment?

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15 minutes ago, christodan said:

 

No but they didn't say stop driving your cars it's too dangerous. And this is my point, authorities have to weigh up risks and benefits with everything. And if you want zero risk in life, then we would have to be told stay home and don't get out of bed ever. (Even that may not be guaranteed. I saw one poor man who was swallowed up in a sinkhole when he was in his bed!). 

I can see we are looking at this differently & so I guess we can never agree. 

It was not about authorities weighing up risks that led to the ship sailing without the prescribed swabs, it was a conscious decision of Princess to ignore the requirement, whatever the reason. I sell products that are mandated to comply with Australia Standards, and require independent 3rd party certification of this. I can only imagine the ramifications that would occur if we chose to not comply with the requirements because we were having trouble sourcing what we need. 

 

Anyway, time to move on. As it turns out not having the swabs would have made zero difference based on the subsequent events and actions, unless somehow having more swabs would have led to them being tested more quickly, but even then likely the horse would have bolted. I guess the point was/is aligned to the statement by the lady (name escapes me now) from NSW Health who surprised the Commissioner when she gave testimony that what could she do against the big cruise company, implying I guess that they were a law unto themselves, at least in her mind.

 

Cheers

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25 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

NSW Health gave the ship swabs. As COVID was a fairly new disease on 8th March, was there a requirement that they had COVID swabs or was it a more general requirement regarding health equipment?

By then as I understand it there was a protocol released by NSW Health, and I suggest there is no issue that that was true, as there were reported discussions between ship and NSW Health on this, and as you say a 'box' was supplied. As OzKiwiJJ suggests perhaps, NSW Health supplying a small number of swabs was taken as tacit approval by the doctor, but if they were working for me, I would insist on greater clarity before assuming & acting on that assumption.

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1 minute ago, mr walker said:

By then as I understand it there was a protocol released by NSW Health, and I suggest there is no issue that that was true, as there were reported discussions between ship and NSW Health on this, and as you say a 'box' was supplied. As OzKiwiJJ suggests perhaps, NSW Health supplying a small number of swabs was taken as tacit approval by the doctor, but if they were working for me, I would insist on greater clarity before assuming & acting on that assumption.

As you said in an earlier post, having a large supply of swabs would not have made any difference because the ship could not carry out the tests. They sent five (I think it was five) ashore in Wellington for testing and all came back negative. Maybe that gave the senior doctor on the ship a bit of misplaced confidence that they didn't have COVID on board. More swabs were sent ashore in Sydney but they delayed testing them. It would not have made any difference if a couple of hundred swabs were sent ashore in Sydney.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mr walker said:

I guess the point was/is aligned to the statement by the lady (name escapes me now) from NSW Health who surprised the Commissioner when she gave testimony that what could she do against the big cruise company, implying I guess that they were a law unto themselves, at least in her mind.

You mean Ms Ressler? The woman crying crocodile tears when she was called to account. That was the woman whom the  Commissioner said  " are you trying to mislead me?" when she implied that they a rea law unto themselves which is quite frankly preposterous. I mean who believes that the NSW and Federal governments have no power over a cruise company ? 

If it was a drugs cartel in Mexico maybe, but not the cruising industry in Australia.

Edited by christodan
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6 minutes ago, christodan said:

You mean Ms Ressler? The woman crying crocodile tears when she was called to account. That was the woman whom the  Commissioner said  " are you trying to mislead me?" when she implied that they area law unto themselves which is quite frankly preposterous. I mean who believes that the NSW and Federal governments have no power over a cruise company ?

The final decision to allow the Ruby to leave on March 8th was in the hands of the health department. 

After the events of testing those disembarking on the 8th and let's also add..not enough swabs..NSW Health had the authority to shut down the cruise.  Plan and simple..they did not do their job..after all..isn't their purpose for existence to protect the people /ports of Australia? 

So tired of bureaucratic talking heads making excuses for screwing up.  And the Ruby wasn't the only ship that week, that the Health department mishandled..they also let all the passengers off the Ovation of the Sea (which was contrary to their own policy) and more..but their covid numbers weren't big enough to become the major story of pointing fingers at so we do not bother to go there. 

They didn't follow their own procedure on Mar 8th and disembarked the Ruby before they tested that group of passengers, too.  Heads should role..massive firing and the ability to sue them for incompetence or perhaps reckless indifference.

 

 

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15 hours ago, BRANDEE said:

The final decision to allow the Ruby to leave on March 8th was in the hands of the health department. 

After the events of testing those disembarking on the 8th and let's also add..not enough swabs..NSW Health had the authority to shut down the cruise.  Plan and simple..they did not do their job..after all..isn't their purpose for existence to protect the people /ports of Australia?

 

 

The Commissioner called it a 'serious' group mistake by Health NSW - not one person responsible as a lot of different things went wrong (including consideration of outdated covid 19 guidelines). The Counsel for Health NSW tried to persuade the Commissioner that it was just a 'mistake' - not a serious mistake.  I don't think that the Inquiry will buy it.  We have to wait for the final report.

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26 minutes ago, Cyrix400 said:

 

The Commissioner called it a 'serious' group mistake by Health NSW - not one person responsible as a lot of different things went wrong (including consideration of outdated covid 19 guidelines). The Counsel for Health NSW tried to persuade the Commissioner that it was just a 'mistake' - not a serious mistake.  I don't think that the Inquiry will buy it.  We have to wait for the final report.

I've been very impressed with Commissioner Walker's inquiry..watching it live..even into the wee hours here in NY.  I also appreciate your summaries..catching up on anything I may have "dozed off on" while watching. 

I agree that the Commissioner does not appear to be a gullible pushover..the tears did not impress him. As an administrator of a education facility it was my job to provide safety and education to children, and given rules, regulations and procedures to follow to make sure it was done with the utmost accordance. It gets my blood boiling to see adults who are assigned a specific job to try and weasel out of total disregard for compliance by saying..oops..I made a mistake..I'll try harder the next time. You can not do over someone dying because of ..oops!  ..I just made a mistake. 

Also bear in mind, I do believe that the cruiseline has the burden of a safe cruise and the personal decision to go on the cruise by each passenger must also be considered. We were adults who chose to go..I did not witness anyone being dragged up the gangplank!!  (Of course, most of us had a very false sense of safety from both Princess and NSWH..who was to be there every step of the way to check us)  But NSW was a tremendous fail for the citizens of Sydney/Australian..and also the visiting guests who came to enjoy your beautiful country.

Waiting for the Commissioner's final report!!

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17 hours ago, mr walker said:

By then as I understand it there was a protocol released by NSW Health, and I suggest there is no issue that that was true, as there were reported discussions between ship and NSW Health on this, and as you say a 'box' was supplied. As OzKiwiJJ suggests perhaps, NSW Health supplying a small number of swabs was taken as tacit approval by the doctor, but if they were working for me, I would insist on greater clarity before assuming & acting on that assumption.

Have recently seen a wonderful saying:

”Hindsight is a luxurious window “  perhaps you are making use of this window Mr Walker?? 
If only we could all have our definite opinion after having a peak through this window 🤔

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Inquiry has stated it was a serious group mistake. Inquiry has only interviewed The middle grade public servants.

They have not  interviewed theThe Minister for health, the secretary of department and the chief health officer who are responsible for the decisions that were made. They must be held accountable.

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, SY7DNEY CRUISER said:

Inquiry has stated it was a serious group mistake. Inquiry has only interviewed The middle grade public servants.

They have not  interviewed theThe Minister for health, the secretary of department and the chief health officer who are responsible for the decisions that were made. They must be held accountable.

Although the NSW Minister for Health, the head of the department and the chief health officer are ultimately responsible for the actions and failures of the department, they would not have been involved in the decision-making. The Commissioner was probably trying to find out the reasons behind decisions that were taken.

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Not knowing enough about the system of Government in Oz, I will pose this as a question. Assuming your Government is similar to ours, there are 2 types of Ministers of Health, 1 Federal and one for each State (in Canada Provincial) These are elected officials so I'm thinking these individuals will be held accountable at the next election. The secretary of department and chief health officer will be serving at the pleasure of the Minister so, replace the Minister and chances are the others will be seeking new positions elsewhere.

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46 minutes ago, Porky55 said:

Have recently seen a wonderful saying:

”Hindsight is a luxurious window “  perhaps you are making use of this window Mr Walker?? 
If only we could all have our definite opinion after having a peak through this window 🤔

There was a requirement for swabs & Princess chose to sail without complying, tacit approval or not. That was known then, so have no idea where you think hindsight comes into it. 

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7 minutes ago, Blackduck59 said:

Not knowing enough about the system of Government in Oz, I will pose this as a question. Assuming your Government is similar to ours, there are 2 types of Ministers of Health, 1 Federal and one for each State (in Canada Provincial) These are elected officials so I'm thinking these individuals will be held accountable at the next election. The secretary of department and chief health officer will be serving at the pleasure of the Minister so, replace the Minister and chances are the others will be seeking new positions elsewhere.

The NSW Health minister may or may not lose his seat in parliament at the next election, but if that happens it would be almost certainly not as a result of the Ruby Princess event. Even less likely that the Federal Health ministers re-election or otherwise would be related to this event. Who constituents vote for in each electorate is based on a myriad of reasons, mostly these days a "what's in it for me" basis 🙂

 

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8 minutes ago, mr walker said:

The NSW Health minister may or may not lose his seat in parliament at the next election, but if that happens it would be almost certainly not as a result of the Ruby Princess event. Even less likely that the Federal Health ministers re-election or otherwise would be related to this event. Who constituents vote for in each electorate is based on a myriad of reasons, mostly these days a "what's in it for me" basis 🙂

 

 

So like most elections in most Commonwealth countries; but rest assured if the Government of BC doesn't continue to mitigate the effects of this virus then the chances of them forming Government after the next election will be slim.

 

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8 minutes ago, mr walker said:

There was a requirement for swabs & Princess chose to sail without complying, tacit approval or not. That was known then, so have no idea where you think hindsight comes into it. 

You seem to have some insider knowledge - so:

 

Were Princess to supply the swabs themselves, or were the swabs being supplied by NSWH?
Who was making the Rules as to not being able to sail if you didn’t have enough swabs?
How many swabs were enough and who decided the number?
Why didn’t NSWH supply Princess with the quantity they required a ship to have before then giving Princess permission to cruise?
Then - where, how and when were these swabs to be tested if a case was suspected?
WHO was making all these rules / decisions ?

This was after all the 8th of March when this ship left port ........ 🤔

 


 

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26 minutes ago, mr walker said:

There was a requirement for swabs & Princess chose to sail without complying, tacit approval or not. That was known then, so have no idea where you think hindsight comes into it. 

 

While you have a point. Whether there was 1 box or 1,000 boxes of swabs on the Ruby Princess it is a moot point. They could have swabbed everyone on Ruby Princess. Unfortunately the swabs that were taken were not processed in a timely fashion.

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16 minutes ago, mr walker said:

There was a requirement for swabs & Princess chose to sail without complying,

 

 

If that is the crux of the matter, then it's an open and shut case. Princess cruised without complying, throw the book at them. So why aren't the Australian authorities using that as their defense?  Probably because, oh I don't know, maybe they don't have the power to sail without complying? So the argument is nonsensical? 

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41 minutes ago, mr walker said:

There was a requirement for swabs & Princess chose to sail without complying, tacit approval or not. That was known then, so have no idea where you think hindsight comes into it. 

But the Ruby Princess did have swabs. They didn't sail without them. When they couldn't source them themselves, NSW Health supplied some so it is reasonable to assume that they supplied the number that were required (if there was a specific number). 

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8 minutes ago, christodan said:

 

 

If that is the crux of the matter, then it's an open and shut case. Princess cruised without complying, throw the book at them. So why aren't the Australian authorities using that as their defense?  Probably because, oh I don't know, maybe they don't have the power to sail without complying? So the argument is nonsensical? 

Exactly...If Princess did not have the necessary amount of swabs on the morning of March 8th..NSWHealth should have shut the sail down.  If Princess was in violation and we now know it was Ms Ressler who gave the ship only one box  (not the amount required).  the power to cancel the sail was fully in the hands of NSWH.   I only got sick because the cruise sailed..imagine how the families of those who died feel about this endless finger pointing when it is as clear as the nose on your face who is to blame.

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Sorry that I have seemed to hit a sore point with some of you folk. Hindsight, book throwing etc??? 

 

I don't care, and, as I already posted it would have made no difference in the end (based on 19th disembarkation), but the ship sailed without the required swabs, a point conceded in the hearing & Princess took the time to provide 'proof' of the efforts they made to source the swabs - it's in black & white. I am finished with this point, which is the one you all seem to be hanging your hats on. Stay safe.

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