Victorian Health Minister resigns after Premiers Statement to the hotel quarantine inquiry testimony.
Jenny Mikakos the Victorian Health Minister, has resigned her position following Premier Daniel Andrews testifying to the hotel quarantine inquiry that she was responsible for the program.
During the inquiry, the Victorian Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos stated that she only became aware that private security guards were being used in the program, in late May.
However, at a press conference on 29 March 2020, Victorian Jobs Minister Martin Pakula, with Ms Mikakos standing next to him, confirmed that security guards would be used to guard hotel quarantine.
His words were: “Passengers returning will now undergo mandatory two-week quarantine at those Melbourne hotels with security guards in place“.
Those details were included in the briefing notes submitted to caucus on 8th April. This would have been available to Ms Mikakos.
However, in the senate inquiry, Ms Mikakos stated that she only became aware that private security guards were being used in the program, in late May.
From that information it can be determined that she knew of the intention for security guards to be used, in March. But it was not until late May that she heard that this had been implemented with private sector security guards.
Ms Mikakos wrote: ‘I believe I first became aware of the use of private security guards… after the Rydges outbreak occurred in late May 2020.’
What did the Premier of Victoria say in the inquiry into the state’s hotel quarantine scheme?
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told the inquiry he did not know who made the decision to hire private security guards.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told the inquiry that Health Minister Jenny Mikakos was responsible for the program.
Victorian Premier Mr Andrews, Victorian Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos, Jobs Minister, Mr Pakula and Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville have all told the inquiry that they do not know who made the decision to use private security guards.
What does appear to have been confirmed is that 99% of Victoria’s recent COVID-19 outbreak are connected to the returned travellers in the Melbourne hotel quarantine system.
The Victorian government has faced criticism for not accepting ADF troops and instead using private security guards. This appears to have resulted in the Coronavirus escaping from the hotel quarantine system in late May, sparking the state’s second wave of COVID-19, and resulting in more than 700 deaths.
Jenny Mikakos would still like to know who insisted on using private security guards and not the ADF.