Data relied on to extend Victoria’s controversial curfew was contained in two documents, one of the state’s top health bureaucrats has revealed.
It comes hours after a judge ordered legal advice on whether Victoria’s controversial curfew breached human rights to be released to lawyers.
Mornington Peninsula cafe owner and Liberal party member Michelle Loielo is challenging the legality of the curfew, which runs from 9pm to 5am.
The data in the documents helped convince her of the “clear and direct correlation” between stage 4 restrictions and a drop in virus figures, Deputy Public Health Commander Michelle Giles explained in her affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday.
The health bureaucrat was responsible for signing off on emergency powers issued by the state’s chief health officer.
At a court hearing earlier this week, Prof Giles was ordered to submit the second document to summarise the data she relied on to make the curfew extension decision.
The two documents that contained the data were a Daily Outbreak Summaries report and a COVID-19 Intelligence Briefing, she explained in the affidavit filed on Thursday.
The daily outbreak document contained information about “complex cases” with the potential to lead to new outbreaks, the document shows.
“It also contains some detailed personal information about cases such as a person’s place of work, their position within that workplace, their housing situation, and the number of close contacts, which in some cases could enable them to be identified,” she wrote.
An important statistic she took into account from that document was the number of cases with an unknown source because it suggested community transmission from people who weren’t diagnosed and likely weren’t aware they had the virus, Prof Giles said.
Lawyers for the state government were ordered by Supreme Court Justice Tim Ginnane to release the legal advice relied on to extend the curfew.
A central issue was whether Prof Giles had considered the Charter of Human Rights in making her decision.
The government claimed legal privilege existed over nine of the ten advice documents and tried to argue they should not be released.
“The legal advice relied on by her (Prof Giles) may be directly relevant to deciding that issue,” Justice Ginnane said in his ruling.
He found because she was “at least in part influenced” by the legal assessment, the contents of the legal advice or assessments was an issue.
Lawyers for Ms Loielo also want access to the data and modelling relied on for imposing the curfew, which is set to be decided at a trial next week.
They claim the curfew is “bizarre, capricious and arbitrary”.
It is scheduled to remain in place until October 26.