Coronavirus

‘Respect my privacy’: former health minister’s home address leaked

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said doctors were being warned to conduct all discussions face-to-face. Source: AAP

Former Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos claims her home address was widely distributed after she resigned over the weekend. She took to Twitter to plead the media to respect her privacy.

“Dear media, I won’t be doing interviews at my home. Please respect my privacy and safety. When I want to speak to you I’ll call you,” Ms Mikakos tweeted.

“As for the people who have distributed my home address widely I have no words,” she said. 

The former Labor minister resigned over the weekend following Premier Daniel Andrews' testimony to the hotel quarantine inquiry.

Ms Mikakos took to Twitter to announce she would quit Victorian Parliament, expressing her disappointment with the Premier’s testimony.

“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.

“I am disappointed that my integrity has sought to be undermined. I know that my statement [to the inquiry] and evidence would have been uncomfortable for some.” 

Victoria’s hotel quarantine program is believed to have led to the second wave in the state, which has seen more than 700 deaths.

Andrews told the inquiry that Ms Mikakos was put in charge of the hotel quarantine program, in which a private security firm was used, after an April 8 cabinet meeting.

Last Thursday, Ms Mikakos told the inquiry she was “not at all” involved in the decision to use private security guards and she does “not know who made that decision”.

The inquiry into the hotel quarantine program heard closing submissions yesterday, with high criticism of the scheme. Counsel assisting the inquiry, Ben Ihle said, “One only needs to pause and to reflect on those figures to appreciate the full scope of devastation and despair occasioned as a result of the outbreak.”  

“It was a program which failed to meet its primary objective to keep us safe from the virus.”

For months, Ms Mikakos -- like many other Australian female politicians -- has been a target of vicious trolling on social media.

Earlier this month, Victorian MP Fiona Patten and 11 other crossbench politicians in Victoria’s Parliament had their private phone numbers and emails leaked in anti-lockdown Facebook groups.

Premier Daniel Andrews has also been a target of online abuse during the pandemic.

In September, Mr Andrews called out a social media campaign that was dubbed “Give Dan the boot” when a pair of boots were placed outside the site of his father’s funeral.

“Having different views to me, that’s fine... it’s a healthy part of our democratic society. But decency matters too,” Mr Andrews said.

“The last time I was in that shed, was when I carried my father’s coffin out of it... I won’t use the words that my father would use to describe that sort of act.”