When news came to light that 11 Victorian relatives of Port Adelaide Football Club players were granted exemptions to enter SA from Victoria, many were asking how this happened.
An investigation into the bungle has revealed the string of mistakes that led to health authorities granting, and then later revoking, the family members’ travel exemptions.
Most shockingly, the signature of one of the state’s deputy chief public health officers was used without his consent to approve the exemptions.
A 12-page report reviewing the bungle has revealed that there is no record of an approval being granted by the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, only the record of his electronic signature being applied to a document.
The report goes on to state that Dr Evan Everest, the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer in question, does not recall any conversations with or about the Port players’ families.
“Dr Everest notes that while he cannot recall any specific conversation with the exemptions team about the footballer families, it is possible that he approved referring the applications to the exemptions committee (which would be the ordinary approach for an application of this type) and that was mistakenly interpreted to mean he had approved the applications,” the report states.
But despite the report being released, the public is still unclear about who made the call to grant the 11 family members permission to enter SA.
No records were kept on who approved the decision, or why the decision was approved, while officials did not recall conversations about the exemptions.
Meanwhile, the report found that electronic templates had been misused and health authorities failed to undertake a formal committee debate on the issue.
SA Labor are now calling for an independent review into the exemptions.