Victoria's health minister Jenny Mikakos has resigned days after giving evidence to the hotel quarantine inquiry and less than 24 hours after Premier Daniel Andrews told the same inquiry that she and her department were responsible for the running of the bungled program.
In a statement released Saturday morning, Ms Mikakos said she was disappointed her integrity had been undermined.
"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," she wrote.
She said following the Premier's statement to the Board of Inquiry on Friday and the fact there were elements in it that she "strongly disagreed with" she believed she could not continue to service in his cabinet.
Ms Mikakos stated she also intends to resign from parliament.
After six weeks of hearings at the $3 million hotel inquiry, it is still not known who made the decision to use security guards instead of the police or the Australian Defence Force, which assisted in other states.
The premier, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, Jobs Minister Martin Pakula and Police Minister Lisa Neville have all denied being involved in the decision.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton, his predecessor Graham Ashton, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and multiple senior public servants have also pleaded ignorance.
Premier Daniel Andrews was the much-awaited final appearance at the inquiry on Friday and said he was disappointed no one in his government knows who made the fateful decision.
"There's just no one who says it was them. Are you aware of that?" counsel assisting the inquiry Rachel Ellyard asked.
"I am," the premier replied.
"Do you know who it was?"
"No, I don't."
Ms Ellyard said a potential explanation was that it "wasn't really a decision consciously made by anyone but rather a kind of creeping assumption that formed amongst a group"."
Ms Mikakos was under pressure after she was caught out contradicting herself about when she knew private guards were being used.The embattled minister told the inquiry on Thursday she first learned of the security guards in May.
But TV footage of a March press conference with Mr Pakula showed him mentioning security guards, as Ms Mikakos stood right behind him.
State opposition leader Michael O'Brien was scathing.
"She has given false evidence to the inquiry, she has lied to Victorians, she is incompetent," he said.
Mr O'Brien said the premier had not been straight with Victorians and had failed the families of the hundreds who have died of the virus.
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While the political heat is high, the two-week rolling average of new daily cases continues to trend lower.
The state's total active cases dropped to 482 on Friday, the first time that figure has fallen below 500 since July 3.
It reached a peak of 7880 on August 11 during Victoria's second wave.
- with Australian Associated Press