Inquiry into Ruby Princess fiasco to get ‘unlimited powers’

The NSW government has launched a special commission of inquiry into the Ruby Princess fiasco which saw hundreds of passengers infected with Covid-19 free to disembark in Sydney.

On March 19, 2700 passengers were allowed to disembark despite some showing symptoms of coronavirus. Their test results had not yet been received when the passengers were allowed off the boat.

Eighteen passengers have since died and hundreds of cases have been connected to the ship, including some who were infected by passengers in the community.

“The inquiry will be led by eminent barrister Bret Walker SC,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“I spoke to him yesterday. He will report back to government in three to four months.

“He has unlimited powers and he can use those powers how he wants to use them. That’s a matter for him.”

The Ruby Princess is currently docked at Port Kembla with at least 128 crew on board testing positive to Covid-19. Private health company Aspen Medical is in charge of assessing care on the ship.