Australia 'The buck stops with me': Victoria Health Minister resigns

04:41  26 september  2020
04:41  26 september  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

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The Victorian health minister ,Jenny Mikakos, has resigned from the cabinet and will leave parliament. Victoria ’s health minister has quit her portfolio and said she will leave parliament as the fallout “I am disappointed that my integrity has sought to be undermined,” she wrote in a one-page

Victorian Health Minster Jenny Mikakos is set to be grilled at the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry today, after her top departmental bureaucrat frustrated two inquiry lawyers and was accused of Live: ' The buck stops with me ': Victoria 's Health Minister resigns over handling of hotel quarantine.

Victoria Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has announced her resignation in the wake of the state's hotel quarantine scheme.

There had been mounting calls for her to step aside after her appearance at an inquiry into the program.

Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday told the inquiry the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was the designated control agency which was primarily responsible for the program, of which Ms Mikakos is the leader of.

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The health minister ’s statements to the inquiry on Thursday said she was not aware security guards were used in the program until the outbreak at the Rydges Hotel in late May. Mikakos released a statement to the inquiry after Andrews’ submission was released denying she had misled the inquiry.

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"As I said to the Board of Inquiry, I take responsibly for my department, the buck stops with me," Ms Mikakos said in a statement posted on Twitter 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.

"For 3 months I had looked forward to learning who made the fateful decision to use security guards. Victorians deserved to know who."

At her appearance at the inquiry on Thursday, Ms Mikakos told the inquiry she knew private security guards were being used but only when outbreaks started to emerge two months after the program was established.

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But the minister insisted she was not consulted about how the quarantine scheme was set up, nor was she involved in the decision-making process - despite DHHS being the lead government agency into the hotel quarantine program.

Jenny Mikakos wearing a suit and tie: Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos. © Getty Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos.

When asked whether she should have been consulted on such matters, the health minister said: "With the benefit of hindsight, it would have been desirable if I had been".

She said that in hindsight, she would not support the use of private security guards in hotel quarantine.

In her statement today, Ms Mikakos said she has 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 in it that I strongly disagree with, I believe that I cannot continue to serve in his Cabinet.

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"I have never shirked my responsibility for my department but it is not my responsibility alone.

"I look forward to the Board on Inquiry's final report."

She added she was "deeply sorry" for the situation in Victoria and does not believe her actions led to it.

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