Carol Altmann – The Terrier
It’s a month since South-West MP Roma Britnell asked to meet with the Lyndoch CEO and board to discuss explosive allegations of bullying and intimidation that emerged through an anonymous staff survey, but the response so far has been crickets.
Roma, Roma, I know how you feel, but I am not the elected representative for South-West Victoria!
Maybe the yellow sticky note – “Call Roma” – fell off the CEO, Doreen Power’s, desk.
Perhaps the board chair, Kerry Nelson, didn’t pop a reminder – “Call Roma” – into her Google diary.
Whatever the case, Roma is still waiting and I find that extraordinary: to ignore a journalist is one thing, but to ignore an elected official of Parliament, wow.
“A request for a meeting was made in mid-March and to date that request has not been responded to,” Roma said in a written response to my questions today.
Roma, however, is prepared to cut the Lyndoch hierarchy some slack because of C-19.
“Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the various restrictions in place, I understand a meeting would be difficult at this time and I will again seek a meeting with the CEO and Board chair when various coronavirus restrictions are lifted,” she wrote.
So, Roma is not giving up: questions will be asked about the allegations and what is being done in response.
This is the message that all those who have contacted Roma about their concerns around Lyndoch need to hear.
She is not giving up, and neither am I, because the descent of C19 doesn’t mean the allegations of bullying and intimidation just disappear, of course they don’t.
In fact it busts my heart to think that the people who were brave enough to raise these allegations in the survey are most likely still there at Lyndoch, working hard, doing their best, sucking in their own stress, while the Lyndoch board is too busy, it seems, to turn their mind to them.
They are too busy, it appears, to set up a Zoom with Roma.
Far too busy dealing with, I can only guess, the future of the Warrnambool Medical Clinic, where fresh contracts were due to be signed by the end of this month.
We have C19 crickets on that too.
Lyndoch, meanwhile, remains in full lockdown, having decided not to go with the Federal Govt recommendation that up to two visitors per day, per resident, can be allowed in under certain conditions.
According to a statement on its website today, Lyndoch says it’s being extra cautious in case of a second spike of C19 after Easter.
And yet the CEO still travels out of Warrnambool each weekend, including over the Easter period, and returns to Lyndoch.
We can only assume that the board is content with that situation too, perhaps we could ask them.