Jenny Mikakos: Dan Andrews lied to Hotel Quarantine Inquiry

Ever since Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews threw former health minister Jenny Mikakos under the bus and made her the scapegoat for the state’s bungled hotel quarantine program, we’ve been waiting for her to spill the beans and leak insider information on the failed system.

Today Mikakos has delivered, providing the following via a submission to the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry:

Former Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos says it is “implausible” the decision to use private security was a “creeping assumption”, and has urged the hotel quarantine inquiry to “treat with caution” the evidence of Premier Daniel Andrews.

In a submission to the inquiry published on Monday, Ms Mikakos said accepting the use of private security had “insufficient regard to the realities of governmental operation and decision-making.”

“In this regard, 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 made by him during his media conference that commenced at 3pm on 27 March 2020,” she said.

“It is submitted that had the decision not already been made by that time, the

Premier would not have announced the use of private security in the program.”

Ms Mikakos submitted that the evidence instead actually pointed to a decision being made at some point before a 3pm press conference given by Mr Andrews.

She said it was clear using Australian Defence Force troops was clearly the wish of National Cabinet, and the decision to use private security instead was “inextricably linked”.

“The decision not to use the ADF should be considered by the Board as being inextricably linked to the decision to use private security,” she said.

“This decision had substantial cost and resource implications for the State and it is inherently unlikely, if not implausible, that such a decision would be the result of a “creeping assumption” rather than a considered choice at an elevated level of government.”

Ms Mikakos said she accepted responsibility for the Department of Health and Human Services but said it was “nonsense” for her alone to be held accountable.

She further said the hotel quarantine inquiry needed to examine discrepancies in evidence given by the Premier and Ministers, saying it was “politically disadvantageous” for a cabinet member to cross examine another cabinet member.

“Accordingly, the Board should critically review the evidence of the Premier and the Ministers (none of whom has been cross-examined by those who might be in the best position to contradict them) where that evidence is at odds with other evidence (and in particular, where it departs from contemporaneous documents),” she said.

When viewed alongside Andrew Crisp’s changed testimony yesterday, there are clearly gaping holes and inconsistencies in the Victorian Government’s story provided to the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry.

The Inquiry must now recall witnesses (including Daniel Andrews) to probe these allegations.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. migtronixMEMBER

    “politics have never meant less to me” so he gets rid a health minister in a pandemic…

  2. The buck stops at the top. Irrespective of who’s fault it actually was, he must be held accountable for the overall governance of the state and all the players in it. Ergo, it’s all his fault ultimately!

    • Unless we are governed by “creeping assumptions” in other areas of government? Was the Belt and Road MOU a “creeping assumption” just as Victorias reliance of mass immigration to support a Population Ponzi economy was an assumption that mugged someone on the parliament steps one dark night?

      Are there more “creeping assumptions” from the black lagoon of politics that we should be aware of? Perhaps planning is one giant black lagoon of creeping donor interests?

      What this inquiry has uncovered is how brazen and shameless our politicians and senior public servants have become in lying to the public. It has also exposed how complicit the upper echelons are in hiding the truth to please the master.

      Jenny Mikakos (who appears to me to be a rare bird – a politician with integrity) would do us all favour to come clean. Of course the Health Minister is not alone responsible if she was not made privy to Premier and Cabinet documents.

      When too many cooks spoil the broth, the head chef is no where to be found. I bet he/she sets up an inquiry into broth making.

  3. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    ‘She said it was clear using Australian Defence Force troops was clearly the wish of National Cabinet, and the decision to use private security instead was “inextricably linked”.

    If a State Government uses ADF personnel and resources they are then Billed for it by the federal Government.
    This can crank up quite a large State Government budget shortfall.
    It is the reason why NSW put off accepting ADF assistance for as long as (Politically) possible during the Bush fires.
    It might all seem like robbing peter to pay paul during a crisis to most people but come election time (State or Federal) the media ALWAYS make it all about who are the better economic and Budget managers.
    All our current political failures and fiascos, across the country, come down to the pandering and subservience to this “required” Pro plutocratic, political/economic narrative driven by corporate media and right wing think tanks.

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            Did you read my bit below before posting your slosh Fitzy?

            And BTW the entire Political establishment, across the whole bloody country is Corrupt.
            Nothing that special about you guys. Vic Just got called out by Covid.
            Could still end up crossing the whole Country.
            If that happens it will be interesting to compare which state is Best.
            My money is on NSW
            we are pretty much the best place in the country inspite of our grubby government.
            we are just better people up here.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        No actual cost comparison between ADF use and private security for Victorians tax payers in that article from the Age though.
        Just a bodgy, non committal, Apples v Oranges comparison with NSW and Qld,

        “The emails show Victoria’s spending on quarantine was forecast to reach $130 million by the end of June compared to NSW’s $50 million and Queensland’s $19 million. However, the DJPR’s own breakdown of spending said it did not know what was included in the Queensland and NSW figures, and whether they took into account that the Commonwealth was splitting costs approximately 50-50 with the states.”

        Before descending into the last half of the article which focuses solely on Grubby anecdotes about underpaid horny security guards some equally confusing figures are quoted,

        “Under the cost-sharing arrangement with the Commonwealth for hotel quarantine, Victoria’s share of the $24.3 million blowout was $11.3 million, emails show, suggesting also that an unexpected increase in the number of repatriation flights to Melbourne was the reason for the extra spending”

        I do wonder if Australia’s largest media company would write a similar, poorly put together, negative piece of speculation about an LNP Government?

        Having said that, and in response to Migs ” Ermo can’t see the forest for the ALP”
        I say Fk the whole Andrews Government off for their treasonous intention to purchase those Chinese made trains Alone!
        I do not defend Their incompetence in the handling of Covid quarantine at all , which is another reason to Fk em off in my view.
        I was merely commenting on the unseen and unreported palm greasing machinations behind all these debacles.

        • C’mon mate. NSW at the end of June had taken 2.5 times as many arrivals into hotel quarantine as Victoria. Even if those figures don’t count the 50-50 cost split for ADF personnel, NSW’s figure would be nowhere near Victoria’s.

          Occam’s Razor…

        • EP yes I did see your next post. You will have noted that the bulk of the money went to a firm in Sydney who had made substantial donations to the Victorian ALP. I don’t believe they even had a Victorian Security licence. They were selected as a result of their values. My post was not aimed at the ALP in particular (as opposed to Miggy) but merely a statement of what the logical conclusion of the article showing one minister saying her leader’s evidence was dubious. My post was intended to be a leap to your defence with the addition of the word “merely”. I don’t think that the party of Andrew Robb can claim to be a paragon of virtue. You will be pleased to know that Andrew Robb was advising Chairman Dan on securing funding from China. This goes well beyond party politics.

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            Lol,… I did notice your use of the word.

            Solidarity Brother!
            (Sigh,…I can’t do the kissy/winky emoji from my laptop).

        • EM when you say you are better people up there, I can well believe you. Lived long and happy in Sydney and nsw Bush.
          Living in Dark City Melbourne the sense of potential knife in back is constant. Different bloodlines dominate. My old dwelling in sewrage explosions dominated 2007 build block of rental units has a shaky nominal 2by4 sticks in old speak stud wall, shaky and no stuffing, between one unit and the next. Never experienced anything like what is everyday in Melbourne, 7.30 Sunday mornings trees felled in block behind home then thru wood chipper in residential Melbourne.

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            We aren’t really better people up here glo,…That was just a bit of Jive talkin.
            We got lucky up here thats all.

  4. Rachel Dexter from TheAge:

    “Victoria Police has put forward a submission to the board that it does not have the power required under law to obtain incoming phone call logs necessary to understand who may have given direction to former Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton that private security were to be used in guarding quarantine hotels.”

    Andrews would have known this, this one statement confirms the inquiry as a fiasco.

  5. Seriously. Follow the money. Follow the source documents – contracts, sign-off pro payment and follow it back. Easy. Simple forensics. If QC or whoever doesn’t get this sack them and appoint a forensic accountant