Since the start of the pandemic, I have worked every day with a single focus – to protect Victorians from an unprecedented global public health threat in our life-time. It has been a responsibility for which I have felt only a sense of urgency and resolve.
I have been in awe of our health professionals saving lives every day and I can never express my admiration of them enough,
When the case numbers started to rise in June I sought an explanation. On 30 June, I received a briefing on a genomic sequencing report. To say that I was shocked would be a massive understatement. The sacrifice and suffering of Victorians is something that I feel deeply.
As I said to the Board of Inquiry, I take responsibility for my department, the buck stops with me. With the benefit of hindsight, there are clearly matters that my department should have briefed me on. Whether they would have changed the course of events only the Board and history can determine.
For three months I had looked forward to learning who made the fateful decision to use security guards. Victorians deserve to know who.
I have always put everything into my Ministerial responsibilities. 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.
I have never shirked my responsibility for my department, but it is not my responsibility alone.
I look forward to the Board of Inquiry’s final report.
I am disappointed that my integrity has sought to be undermined. I know that my statement and evidence would have been uncomfortable for some.
I have today written to the Governor of Victoria to resign my commission as a Minister effective today. I will also be resigning from the Parliament.
I am deeply sorry for the situation that Victorians find themselves in. In good conscience, I do not believe that my actions led to them.
I thank Victorians for the privilege of serving them. I thank the Premier, my colleagues, my loyal staff, the Labor Party and broader Labour movement for their support.
I will not be making any further public statements.