Victoria's Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has resigned in the wake of Premier Daniel Andrews’ testimony to the state’s hotel quarantine inquiry, in which he said she was responsible for the bungled scheme that resulted in a devastating second wave of the virus in the state.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Mikakos said she had written to Victoria’s Governor to resign as minister and will also be resigning from Parliament.
“I have never wanted to leave a job unfinished, but in light of the premier’s statement to the board of inquiry and the fact that there are elements in it that I strongly disagree with, I believe that I cannot continue to serve in his cabinet,” she wrote.
On Friday, Andrews said Mikakos was responsible for the hotel quarantine program, but didn't know who made the decision to use private security contractors to manage it. Mikakos said on Saturday she took responsibility for the department -- but it was not her responsibility alone.
A Board of Inquiry has heard evidence that Victoria’s second wave was started by leaks from the hotel quarantine scheme. Its final report is due on November 6.
The situation in Victoria: Victoria is not Australia's most populous state, but it has reported around three-quarters of the country's 27,000 cases.
As of Friday, Victoria had recorded more than 20,000 coronavirus infections including 781 deaths, according to official data. The outbreak is centered in the state's largest city, Melbourne.