The Victorian Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos, has resigned.
Mikakos announced her resignation in a statement posted on Twitter at 9.32am. The statement appears below.
Her resignation follows Premier Daniel Andrews’ appearance at a public hearing of the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry yesterday. Andrews said Mikakos and the Health Department were “accountable” for the decision to employ private security guards at hotels involved in the quarantining of people arriving in Melbourne from overseas.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt today announced a $1.7 billion agreement for the supply and production of more than 80 million vaccine doses.
“Australia needs some hope today,” Morrison said when announcing the agreement at a Canberra press conference.
Morrison described as “crushing news” yesterday’s announcement in Victoria of an extension to the Stage 4 lockdown and curfew. “The plan that was outlined yesterday, I hope, is a worst-case scenario,” he said. “The mental health of Victorians will be sorely tested.”
Morrison’s escalating attacks on the Victorian government, aided by his Victorian-based treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, highlight the powers of the states in management of the coronavirus and the tensions in the federal compact.
The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and senior ministers Josh Frydenberg and Greg Hunt have criticised COVID-19 measures announced today by the Victorian government as “hard and crushing news”.
Whilst generally supportive of measures to rid Victoria of the virus, the three ministers said that “the proposed roadmap will come at a further economic cost.”
In a statement, they say: “Now that we have been advised of the plan and it has been released we will also seek feedback from Victorian business and industry stakeholders to understand their concerns and seek to ensure they are addressed.” They said Victoria’s contact tracing system has to be “strengthened to the highest possible levels”.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a “roadmap” out of the current COVID-19 restrictions.
The Stage 4 restrictions introduced a month ago, and scheduled to end next weekend, will be extended for another two weeks. The curfew that came into force a month ago has been extended until the end of October, although it will now apply from 9pm until 5am.
Retail shops and hairdressers remain closed until the end of October. Childcare and schools will begin to reopen, and VCE students will sit the General Achievement Test (GAT) in October. People living alone will now be able to establish a “bubble” with one other person.
A series of steps has been set out, with dates ranging into November, each dependent on the numbers of diagnosed COVID-19 cases at each stage. Full details of the changes appear in the documents below.
Watch Daniel Andrews’ Press Conference (113m):
Listen to Andrews (113m):
Statement from Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria.
Today is Father’s Day.
And just like Mother’s Day earlier this year, I know there’ll be plenty of families missing each other.
Whether it’s dad or grandpa, baba, papa or cha – today is a day that is supposed to be spent together.
Normally, for us, it’d be lunch with Cath and the kids. And maybe a trip back home to see mum – and visit dad. This year, though, it’s got to be different.
I know that same sense of loss and missing those you love is being felt by every single Victorian family.
These are the valedictory speeches for Senator Mitch Fifield, Liberal, Victoria.
Fifield, 52, was appointed to the Senate on March 3, 2004, filling a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Richard Alston.
Fifield served as a minister in the governments of Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, between September 2013 and May 2019. He was Minister for the Arts and Minister for Communications from 2015 until 2019.
He was Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate between 2017 and 2018, and Manager of Government Business in the Senate from 2018 to 2019.
Prior to entering parliament, Fifield worked for Treasurer Peter Costello (1996-2003) as a senior political adviser. He was also a senior policy adviser to Alan Brown, the Victorian Minister for Transcpot (1992-96).
Fifield, bruised by the leadership turmoil in the Liberal Party in 2018, will soon take up the post of Ambassador to the United Nations.
Listen to the valedictory speeches for Fifield (57m):
Watch the valedictories (57m):
Hansard transcript of valedictory speeches for Senator Mitch Fifield.
The PRESIDENT (18:33): Pursuant to order, the Senate will now move to valedictory statements.
Senator FIFIELD (Victoria) (18:33): Colleagues and friends, doesn’t it go by in the blink of an eye? It was a little over 15 years ago that I rose to speak for the first time in this great chamber. I did so as the 487th senator to serve in this place since Federation. This struck me at the time as being a pretty small number, but since I arrived 120 senators have left this place. I cite these figures to highlight that, while ours may be a select group, our custodianship is transitory. To be chosen by your party peers to be their flag-bearer, to be endorsed by the voters, to be afforded a platform and resources to pursue the national interest, there are few greater privileges. Today, for me, represents the culmination of a decade and a half in the Senate, and the drawing of stumps on a parliamentary and a ministerial career. But today also represents for me the conclusion of 31 years in full-time professional politics and 23 years working in this building.