Chris Eccles, Victoria ‘s top public servant, has resigned from the Department of Premier and Cabinet Secretary after telephone records revealed that he was the worker who called former Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton at a crucial moment when officials debated the use of private security.
Initially, Ms. Eccles gave the hotel quarantine investigation evidence that he was unable to “recall whether I telephoned former Chief Commissioner Graham”.
The inquiry ordered the records to be turned over after Premier Daniel Andrews was grilled about the missing phone records.
“Following a request by the Board of Inquiry on Saturday 10 October 2020, I requested detailed telephone records from my telecommunications carrier,” Mr Eccles said.
“These records show I called Mr Ashton at 1:17pm and that I spoke with him for just over two minutes.
“The telephone records do not in any way demonstrate that I, or indeed anyone else in DPC made a decision that private security be used in the Hotel Quarantine Program.
“I am absolutely certain I did not convey to Mr Ashton any decision regarding the use of private security as I was unaware any such decision had been made, and I most certainly had not made such a decision myself.”