Health Minister Jenny Mikakos is facing fresh scrutiny after her claims of ignorance about the use of private security in hotel quarantine were sensationally contradicted.
Footage of a March 29 press conference showed Ms Mikakos fronting the media with Jobs Minister Martin Pakula as he confirmed the contractors would be used.
“All of those passengers returning will now undergo mandatory two-week quarantine at those Melbourne hotels with security guards in place,” Mr Pakula said at the time.
Ms Mikakos is now facing accusations she misled the inquiry into the government’s bungled program.
But the Health Minister has since has rejected claims her comments were misleading.
“The minister categorically denies that she has misled the board in any way and has sought leave to provide information to the board to that effect,” a government spokeswoman said.
Although Premier Daniel Andrews acknowledged at Friday’s hearing he was “ultimately accountable” for hotel quarantine, he did regard Ms Mikakos as “responsible” for the program.
In his witness statement, the Premier said Health Minister Jenny Mikakos and Jobs Minister Martin Pakula was responsible for informing Cabinet about the “initial overall service model and costings” for hotel quarantine.
“They did so at the CCC (Council of cabinet) meeting on 8 April 2020. I then regarded Minister Mikakos as accountable for the Program. The CCC was provided with regular reports by Minister Mikakos containing data relevant to Victoria’s response to the public health emergency, key insights from the data, as well as other updates, including in relation to the Program,” he said.
3AW’s Neil Mitchell said the evidence proved the Victorian government cabinet was dysfunctional.
“They’re all so busy pointing fingers – how can they sit around a cabinet table and have a serious discussion about anything,” he said.
“Personally, I think Jenny Mikakos is gone.
“She is a lightweight and showed it in her evidence yesterday.
“She didn’t know what she should know and blamed everybody else.”
Originally published as Video shatters Health Minister’s claim