Resigned minister’s parting shot at Dan
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos resigned today, issuing an apology and denying she was solely responsibly for the state's coronavirus outbreak.
It comes after Premier Daniel Andrews effectively threw his Health Minister under the bus, telling the hotel quarantine inquiry she was "primarily responsible" for the bungled program.
Jenny Mikakos told the inquiry on Thursday she was unaware private security was being used until two months after the program began, and said she was not consulted about the structure or operational plan.
Mr Andrews said he regarded her "as accountable for the program".
"As I said to the Board of Inquiry, I take responsibility for my department, the buck stops with me," she said in her statement this morning.
"With the benefit of hindsight, there are clearly matters that my department should have briefed me on. Whether they would have changed the course of events only the Board and history can determine."
READ JENNY MIKAKOS'S FULL STATEMENT
"Since the start of this pandemic, I have worked every day with a single focus - to protect Victorians from an unprecedented global public health threat in our lifetime. It has been a responsibility for which I have felt only a sense of urgency and resolve.
I have been in awe of our health professionals saving lives every day and I can never express my admiration of them enough.
When the case numbers started to rise in June I sought an explanation. On 30 June, I received a briefing on a genomic sequencing report. To say that I was shocked would be a massive understatement. The sacrifice and suffering of Victorians is something that I feel deeply.
As I said to the Board of Inquiry, I take responsibility for my department, the buck stops with me. With the benefit of hindsight, there are clearly matters that my department should have briefed me on. Whether they would have changed the course of events only the Board and history can determine.
For three months I had looked forward to learning who made the fateful decision to use security guards. Victorians deserve to know who.
I have always put everything into my Ministerial responsibilities. I have never wanted to leave a job unfinished but in light of the Premier's statement to the Board of Inquiry and the fact that there are elements of it that I strongly disagree with, I believe that I cannot continue to serve in his Cabinet.
I have never shirked my responsibility for my department but it is not my responsibility alone.
I look forward to the Board of Inquiry's final report.
I am disappointed that my integrity has south to be undermined. I know that my statement and evidence would have been uncomfortable for some.
I have today written to the Governor of Victoria to resign my commissions as a Minister effective today. I will also be resigning from the Parliament.
I am deeply sorry for the situation that Victorians find themselves in. In good conscience, I do not believe that my actions led to them.
I thank Victorians for the privilege of serving them. I thank the Premier, my colleagues, my local staff, the Labor Party and broader Labor movement for their support.
I will not be making any further public statements."
Originally published as Resigned minister's parting shot at Dan