Security guard at quarantine hotel slipped inappropriate note under guest’s door

A security guard was fired from a Melbourne coronavirus quarantine hotel after slipping a suggestive note under a female guest's door.

It was the second such incident in a week and led top Australian bureaucrats to consider cutting ties with private firm Wilson Security, an inquiry has heard.

The ongoing inquiry into the country's Covid-19 hotel quarantine programme has uncovered a number of serious problems, including allegations of poor hygiene practices among guards.

On Thursday an email chain revealed a woman staying at a Crowne Plaza hotel being used to house recent overseas arrivals had complained after finding a note under her door.

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It said something to the effect of "Hey hun, add me on Snapchat" along with the sender's name.

"She looked up his name and looked up on Facebook and it's a security guard and wants to complain," an email about the complaint said.

"[REDACTED] is his name – he took her outside a few days ago for outside time … with 2 other guests … 2 other security guards."

"I will contact Wilson Security now to have this guard removed," replied Paul Xerri, who was responsible for managing security contractors from April 1.

Another public servant said via email that it was "the second such incident this week and unacceptable".

"Paul as you would be aware – we have had significant issues with Wilson from day dot," Global Victoria chief executive officer Gönül Serbest replied.

She then asked if it was possible to stop using Wilson Security, to which Mr Xerri said he'd have to seek legal advice.

"In the meantime I notice that [REDACTED] at Wilson has written to advise that they are working to improve service delivery at Pan Pacific and will have senior management on site this weekend. Hopefully this helps in the interim," he said.

The Australian government's hotel quarantine programme has been plagued with problems since it began in March.

Another email chain discussed in the inquiry mentioned an incident on the second day of the quarantine programme when an agitated hotel guest escaped at 3am in search of a cigarette.

The inquiry previously heard that 99% of Victoria's second wave cases came from outbreaks at the Stamford and Rydges hotels.

Private security guards have been blamed for incorrectly following hygiene protocols which caused the virus to spread into the community.

Unlike neighbouring New Zealand, Australia has struggled to keep its coronavirus outbreak under control with more than 25,000 confirmed cases, the majority of which have been reported in Victoria.

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