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Former Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos Turns On Premier Daniel Andrews

Former Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos Turns On Premier Daniel Andrews

The former MP told the inquiry into the hotel quarantine that the Premier's statements should be taken with 'caution'

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

The former Health Minister for Victoria has turned on Premier Daniel Andrews.

Jenny Mikakos resigned from her post last month after saying she could no longer 'serve in this Cabinet'.

An inquiry has been underway to find out what happened with the bungled hotel quarantine and how much it influenced the second round of infections across Melbourne.

In a closing submission, Ms Mikakos warned the statements made by Premier Andrews' during the investigation should be taken with 'caution'.

Jenny Mikakos

Her legal team said in its submission: "The fact that no such Cabinet, or Cabinet Committee process, was engaged for the setting up of the hotel quarantine program is the root cause of some of the issues which have been ventilated before the board in the course of this inquiry.

"In this regard, 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 made by him during his media conference that commenced at 3pm on 27 March 2020."

Her submission added that the reason why she and other ministers didn't cross-examine Premier Andrews was because it could be 'politically disadvantageous' or 'improper'.

Premier Andrews has previously told the inquiry that he had no idea why private security was mentioned at his press conference but insisted it wasn't him who instructed they be used to control hotel quarantine.

Ms Mikakos has disputed this in her submission, adding: "It is submitted that had the decision not already been made by that time, the Premier would not have announced the use of private security in the program.

"In this regard, it is observed that no evidence was led about what briefings were provided to the Premier by his office in advance of that media conference."

When Ms Mikakos resigned as Health Minister, Premier Andrews blamed her for the hotel quarantine program and said the accountability sits with her.

He didn't ask her to step down, but admitted that it was 'the appropriate course of action'.

When leaving her post, she released a statement saying: "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 in it that I strongly disagree with, I believe that I cannot continue to serve in this Cabinet."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia