On 15 April 2020, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that a special commission of inquiry would be established to investigate the events surrounding the Ruby Princess cruise ship.
Leading barrister Bret Walker SC will be appointed Commissioner for the inquiry, which will report back to the government in three to four months.
Terms of Reference
Having regard to the global COVID-19 pandemic and with respect to:
- the departure from Sydney of the Ruby Princess on 8 March 2020;
- the voyage of the Ruby Princess between 8 March and 19 March 2020;
- the docking and disembarkation of the Ruby Princess at Sydney on 19 March 2020; and
- subsequent efforts to diagnose and treat, and to contain the community transmission of COVID-19 by, Ruby Princess passengers
the Commissioner is to report on and make recommendations in relation to the following matters:
- The knowledge, decisions and actions of Ruby Princess crew, medical staff and the ship operator, Princess Cruises, with respect to cases or potential cases of respiratory infections on the ship.
- The information provided to, communications between, and decisions and actions of Commonwealth and NSW agencies, including the Australian Border Force, the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, NSW Health, the NSW Police Force, NSW Ambulance and the Port Authority of NSW.
- Policies and protocols applied by Princess Cruises and Commonwealth and NSW Government agencies with respect to managing suspected or potential COVID-19 cases.
- Communications by Commonwealth and NSW Government agencies to passengers disembarking the Ruby Princess.
- Any other related matters that the Commissioner considers appropriate.
In undertaking this work, the Commissioner is:
- where the Commissioner considers appropriate, to collaborate and share information with any investigation established by Australian or New Zealand authorities in relation to the Ruby Princess; and
- to deliver a report by 14 August 2020.
Last updated: 22 April 2020