Former Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos has told the hotel quarantine inquiry to treat the Premier’s evidence with “caution” and claimed it would be “nonsense” for her to be solely accountable for the failed program.
In her final submission to the board of inquiry, Ms Mikakos also said the state’s Jobs Minister should also be held responsible for the bungled program, which sparked the state’s second wave of coronavirus infections.
“It is respectfully submitted that the Board ought to treat with caution the Premier’s evidence where he sought to explain the reference to the use of private security in the hotel quarantine program,” the submission said.
Mr Andrews told the inquiry he did not know who made the decision to use private security.
But Ms Mikakos said in her statement it was “implausible” that no-one made the decision and disputed claims it was made by “creeping assumptions”.
She told the inquiry the Premier would have known about the decision before his 3:00pm press conference on March 27.
“With respect, such a submission has insufficient regard to the realities of governmental operation and decision-making,” her submission said.
Ms Mikakos also suggested the “root cause” of the failed program came from a decision made by the Premier to “subvert” the usual Cabinet process.
“Had the Hotel Quarantine Program been the product of a Cabinet or Cabinet Committee decision, these issues would not have arisen,” her submission said.
“More importantly, such a process would have enabled differing views and potential risks and weakness with the program to be identified and addressed prior to its establishment.”
Mr Andrews has refused to comment on Jenny Mikakos’ final submission to the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry this morning.
“I haven’t got time to be engaging in debates and discussions,” he said.
The premier said he has not spoken to the former health minister since she resigned.
Sourced By: ABC News