Health Minister Mikakos will be hotel quarantine scapegoat

I’m going to made a bold prediction: Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos will be the scapegoat for Melbourne’s hotel quarantine disaster.

Here’s my reasoning.

First, unlike other jurisdictions, Mikakos rarely fronts the media for the daily COVID-19 briefings. Instead, the job goes to Premier Daniel Andrews, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, or his deputies.

Second, almost all testimony from the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry has identified Mikakos’ Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as the lead agency in charge of the failed program.

Finally, the unions want Jenny Mikakos’ sacking for her “breathtaking incompetence”:

There are calls for Daniel Andrews to sack his Health Minister, after a leading health union boss accused Jenny Mikakos of “breathtaking incompetence”…

“For the good of your government, for the good of health workers I represent, and for the good of all Victorians, Ms Mikakos must go,” she wrote in a letter to Mr Andrews on Wednesday.

She went on to say that in all the union’s dealings with the health Minister, “not once has she displayed even a basic understanding of her portfolio”…

“This is entirely about Ms Mikakos’ competence as your Health Minister, which is at the heart of your government’s response to this current pandemic,” she said…

“All Victorians are seemingly paying a price for her incompetence, ” she said.

Daniel Andrews needs a scapegoat and Jenny Mikakos fits the bill perfectly (except that she is a women).

Jenny Mikakos fronts the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry today. Grab the popcorn.

Leith van Onselen
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Comments

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      They wouldn’t have her in their corner – she’s Labor and it’s responsible for all the world’s problems even Bridget’s and Angus’s little naughties. Plus, their corner has a supply of champagne and caviar – the LNP punishment for being naughty.

  1. Its not a goat hunt – its a witch hunt – good to see you out the front with the rest of Morrison media dogs.

    Good thing to be known as. Great legacy.

  2. She deserves to go, but to let Dan off because he threw an equally guilty direct report in front of the train is wrong. Departments heads, Dan and Sutton all need to go.

    • I’m in a completely different camp on the quarantine issue.

      According to the national quarantine laws first written at federation and last updated in 2007, the Federal government holds ultimate responsibility for quarantine and the nations borders.

      To me, Morrison has palmed off his job to the states because he is the laziest PM in this country’s history. Yet both Morrison and Dutton have continuously shifted the blame to state leaders or patsy’s or hidden it.

      I remember the Ruby Princess, that was blamed on some low level shill. Compare that to the treatment Andrews got and you can see the politically based disparity and bias.

      • The lies, the sanctimonious bullying… the contact tracing,… the deaths of 700 Victorians. Cries that he is responsible but continues to have the top job…

        There is some disparity.

      • I hear what you are saying and you are right from a legal standpoint but if it was left to Morrison he would have opened the borders and accepted the consequences. Dan and his govt chose not to go down that path and wanted more stringent controls. In this case he chose the outcome, he needs to own the consequences.

        If Morrison and Dutton had been responsible we would have likely had a more severe death rate nationally with JK and JS tapering much earlier. SFM has been forced to extend these due to the states decisions to go harder and further than he was intending. He will now withdraw that support to make the states be accountable for locking people up if outbreaks occur.

        • And that is the hypocrisy that turns my head into a flaming skull

          For Morrison and the Murdoch press to be ripping into the Vic state gov, when their plan would have thousands dead not hundreds, sends me raging around like a cat with a burning ball attached to its tail.

          • C’mon mate. The fact of the matter is that the Andrews Government completely stuffed up hotel quarantine and contract tracing. They are the only jurisdiction to have done so. You cannot pin this on the federal government. It was agreed at national cabinet that the states would run hotel quarantine. They were also offered ADF support from the feds (which they refused).

            Victoria was the only jurisdiction not to use police on the ground running the program, supplemented by private security and ADF. They were the only jurisdiction to contract out the running of the entire system to dodgy private security and uber drivers, and without oversight.

            The Victorian Government must be held to account. Don’t be an apologist for their gross negligence and incompetence.

          • According to Brett Sutton, hotel quarantine was ScoMo’s idea:

            “Top Australian doctor Brett Sutton has revealed he didn’t know private security was overseeing hotel quarantine in Victoria until after the Rydges coronavirus outbreak.

            Victoria’s Health Chief provided evidence at today’s COVID-19 hotel quarantine inquiry, saying casual guards should never have been used.

            He also told the inquiry he and other chief health officers advising National Cabinet were caught unaware by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement in March of Australia’s hotel quarantine program.”

            Each state hastily organised their own hotel quarantine scheme, but Dr Sutton wasn’t involved in Victoria’s plan”.

            Maybe your anger at ScoMo is misplaced.

            Here’s more from The Age suggesting it was Scott Morrison’s idea to do hotel quarantine:

            The inquiry has also heard that chief health officers from across the country did not formally endorse the hotel quarantine program before Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced it.

            Mr Sutton said the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, which includes all state and territory chief health officers and was chaired by then-chief medical officer Brendan Murphy, was not wholly convinced the quarantine measure was necessary.

            “As discussed, prior to national cabinet’s [announcement] on March 26, 2020, the AHPPC did not endorse the idea of quarantining travellers at hotels (or other designated facilities),” Professor Sutton’s statement reads…

            Mr Morrison said: “The decision that I communicate from this podium [is] the decision of all premiers, chief ministers, and myself. This is not some personal view of mine, these are the decisions of the national cabinet based on the medical expert advice that we receive in terms of the restrictions that are necessary to deal with the management of the outbreak of the virus in Australia.”

            Australia might be in a far worse position without ScoMo’s intervention on hotel quarantine? Food for thought.

          • RobotSenseiMEMBER

            Morrison is from the LNP.
            Not my portfolio, not my responsibility, we’re not here to talk about that today, now is not the time, etc etc

          • “I don’t do the quarantines, mate, that’d be a state issue.”
            “Hotels… Where the bloody the hell are you?”

          • Nah mate, quarantine failures are smoke and mirrors, a distraction compared to the hypocrisy of the Fed gov. I still stand by this point

            “For Morrison and the Murdoch press to be ripping into the Vic state gov, when their plan would have thousands dead not hundreds…”

            The Morrison gov was and still is, constantly pressing for open borders when it is clearly against the best medical advice.
            For them to criticise any state government when they would have killed thousands is unreasonable in the extreme.

      • Quarantine at the border (mostly, at the point of arrival, the airport) is different to a quarantine after an arrival has moved through the point of arrival check.

        If Dan wanted a layer of quarantine, it was his responsibility to effectively manage it.

        • Well said Chase. The virus is imported. Quarantine at state borders is secondary to effective quarantine at the international border.

          There is minimal risk in opening the states up to everyone except Victoria. Why? Because they have negligible virus infection.

          QLD should have opened to NSW weeks ago.

  3. Who gives a fook about hotel quarantine after Ruby Princess etc etc. Why the fook are our borders closed and why the fook does Victoria have a curfew? This entire country is fooked. We are either AUSTRALIA the actual country that exists as such, or all the bickering children FKN States need to STFU and become independent nations and let us choose where we want to live. During the meanwhile SFM needs to explain why in a democratic country, we need an actual reason to leave? My reason is simple, I want to leave because this country is fooked!

    • As the states are doing all the work, I’m starting to wonder why we need a federal government.

      They don’t do a fookin’ thing to help.

      • I agree. Could the national cabinet just vote to kick Scomo out, take over tax collection, and redistribute it amongst themselves fairly? Seems like we could get all the same stuff and as a bonus Canberra could be bulldozed and Lake Burley-Griffin could be turned into a waterslide and wave park.

      • The last time I checked, the feds are picking up the tab for the states’ lockdowns via emergency income support. But no doubt the federation is not working effectively. Three levels of government doesn’t work.

        • “Three levels of government doesn’t work.”
          Shirley it works, alright, for all those who got the gig.

      • We should abolish the states.

        If the Federal government had to pick up the full tab for education, hospitals and infrastructure, they may be less in a hurry for turbo charged immigration.

        • Right again Chase. The vertical fiscal imbalances and cost shifting are what is killing the effective operation of the federation.

          Sadly, it’s impossible to change given it requires a referendum, which would never pass.

    • Excellent questions, totally agree.
      Tired of all the misdirection, bickering and buck passing while the big picture (total police state) is ignored.

    • Tudge illegally detained a person – against their will and Australian law.

      He should immediately be sacked from his position, but it won’t happen because detainee was an Afghan not an old rich white guy.

  4. I wouldn’t bet against your position. Mikakos probably deserves to go. The question is will she or should she be enough,

    My own view is that Andrew Crispin and Daniel Andrews should also lose their heads along with the head of Mikakos’s department and the head of Andrews department. But they will probably survive