Any inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic must not be a witch-hunt against the former government, the coalition says.

Any review without the power to compel state and territory leaders would be a waste of time, opposition health spokeswoman Anne Ruston warned.

Senator Ruston says It’s imperative it doesn’t become “a witch-hunt because that supports no Australians in the future should we be faced with another pandemic”,

Health Minister Mark Butler is set to announce an inquiry into the pandemic today, but it will reportedly fall short of a royal commission, which Labor had promised to consider in opposition.

But the Albanese government’s response after it took office in May 2022 also needed to be part of the inquiry’s scope, saying “The Albanese government’s ongoing response to the pandemic also needs to be investigated, Senator Ruston says.