The hotel quarantine inquiry was told by former Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos to treat the Premier’s evidence with “caution,” claiming it would be “nonsense” for her to be solely responsible for the failed scheme.
In her final report to the investigation board, Ms. Mikakos also claimed that the state’s minister of jobs should also be kept accountable for the bungled programme that caused the second wave of coronavirus infections in the state.
“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.
At the inquiry, Mr. Andrews said he did not know who had made the decision to use private protection.
But Ms Mikakos said it was “implausible” in her assertion that no-one made the decision and denied arguments that “creeping assumptions” made it.
Before his 3:00pm press conference on March 27, she told the inquiry that the Premier would have known about the decision.
“With respect, such a submission has insufficient regard to the realities of governmental operation and decision-making,” her submission said.
‘I don’t accept that criticism’: Premier
The “root cause” of the failed programme came from a decision taken by the Premier to “subvert” the normal Cabinet process, Ms Mikakos also suggested.
“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.”