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Dear @comcare_gov_au,
I have recently received a response to a #FOI request in relation to the #Comcare investigation into #mould at the #Nauru RPC. Reviewing my original email to yourself in 2018, I feel I may not have made one aspect clear enough.
I would appreciate it if you could clarify whether the incident of a contracted mould inspector (microbiologist) being asked to remove his PPE for the inspection and consequently becoming sick, was part of the @comcare_gov_au investigation into the mould issue
2/ the tents at the RPC on #Nauru or was treated as a separate investigation.
The FOI response I received on the 5th of June 2020 in relation to MC00004067, has plainly stated that Comcare never interviewed Dr Cameron Jones, the microbiologist in question.
The link to the article is here. It was included in the email to yourselves over two years ago.…
The main facts from the article.
1) #Transfield commissioned Cameron Jones to travel to Nauru in October 2014 to conduct onsite scientific tests in the tents and new modular buildings.
2) He was prohibited from wearing personal protective equipment by Transfield.
3) Specifically, he was not allowed to wear his usual plastic suit, goggles or full face mask.
4) Security guards at the detention centre had prevented Dr Jones from taking extensive photographs and video to capture the scale of the mould problem.

5) At the conclusion of his work, Dr Jones developed gastrointestinal problems and long term sinus issues.
6) His 247 page report submitted to #Transfield and Australian Immigration warned airborne and surface bound fungal and bacterial cells and spores were capable ...
... of causing ‘disease by direct infection, toxicosis or allergy’.
7) Following the submission of the report, the working relationship between Dr Cameron and #Transfield soured.
8) Home Affairs denied there had been any illnesses as a result of mould exposure ...

... at the #Nauru detention centre.
9) Dr Cameron Jones was the expert #witness in the case as well as being a victim of a Work Health and Safety incident.

If the events surrounding Dr Cameron Jones’ work at the Nauru RPC were part of investigation MC00004067,

...why didn’t you interview him? Did you ask for a copy of his medical records to establish the cause of his gastrointestinal issues or sinus problems? Did you ask for a copy of his 247 page report? Did you interview Transfield management that directed Dr Jones ...
... to not wear PPE? Did you ask if a risk assessment had been done in relation to not wearing PPE?
If the events surrounding Dr Cameron Jones’ work at the #Nauru RPC we’re not included in #Comcare investigation MC00004067, were they investigated separately with
... a different Monitoring Compliance number? If so, what is that MC number? If not, I would ask that you investigate this matter now.
While this may seem to now be a historical matter, it appears that the Department of Immigration (by whichever name it went by since 2014)...
... has breached the 2011 WHS Act by failing to maintain a safe workplace for Dr Cameron Jones, abd for all other inhabitants and workers at the RPC over those years. I am uncertain as to how #Comcare has fulfilled its statutory duties in ensuring that the law...
...(2011 #WHS Act) has been obeyed. While it is on record that Comcare cannot use statutory powers overseas despite the Act having jurisdiction overseas, you most certainly can use statutory powers within Australia. In fact, those duties and functions are laid out for you...
...within the Act itself. There is nothing to stop you interviewing Dr Cameron Jones and asking for his report. Under section 155, you had the power to obtain documents, including emails/communications within the DoHA, and between DoHA and Transfield in the aftermath...
...of receiving Dr Jones’ report related to what they intended to do about the mould, and how they intended to show compliance with s17 (managing risks), now that the information to assist in being compliant with s18 (hazard identification) had been completed by Dr Jones.
Perhaps you thought you had done that already in MC00004067. But considering the mould remained and people still became sick at the RPC on #Nauru in the following years up until the RPC was demolished, I would question if what you or the #DoHA did was sufficient.
Sections 17, 28, 19(1), 19(2) and 27 have likely been breached.

I understand that MC00004067 was started on the 12th of February 2018. This was a long time after the original concerns regarding #mould were raised in 2014 or even after staff at the #Nauru RPC raised...
...their concerns with you directly in 2016. I also understand that your inspection was completed and the inspector’s report handed in to #HomeAffairs on the 22nd of May 2018.
If this inspector’s report found that Home Affairs had breached the Act, what were the consequences?
I would imagine such an egregious long term, wide spread breach while made aware in 2014 of the hazards and risks, would be an example of ‘reckless conduct’ as described in the category 1 offence, if not simply a ‘failure to comply with health and safety duties’ ...
... as described in the category 2 and 3 offences.
If #HomeAffairs had somehow been compliant with the Act, then why were there still high levels of toxic mould, and mould related illnesses for both staff and refugees at the RPC?
While I am not expecting you ...
... to let me view the inspector’s report, would you do me the courtesy of letting me know what the result was of this investigation?
Regardless, could @comcare_gov_au please investigate the incident in relation to Dr Cameron Jones (if not already part of MC00004067)?
Note: The FOI requesting a summary of the evidence and the inspector’s report was refused on four grounds.
1) As regards any interview with Dr Cameron Jones and summary of evidence, it was refused under s24A of the FOI Act on the grounds that these documents cannot...
/23 found or do not exist.
2) As regards the inspector’s report, it was refused under s47E(d) on the grounds that it could have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of Comcare (such as reduce the willingness of people...
/24 provide information during Comcare inspections and investigations).
3) And refused under section 47F as it contains personal information (so what? Redact then personal stuff!).
4) And that in relation to refusals based on section 47E(d) and 47F, the release of
...the inspector’s report is contrary to the public interest.
Both Home Affairs and Comcare we’re consulted by the FOI branch of Comcare in arriving at the decision to refuse the FOI request.

What a joke.

/26 End thread.
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