Victoria's top public servant Chris Eccles, who came under fire at the state's hotel quarantine inquiry, has resigned.
Mr Eccles, the Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, resigned after his phone records were handed to the hotels inquiry.
However, he has insisted he never made the ill-fated decision to employ private security to guard returned travellers in Melbourne's quarantine hotels, over defence force personnel or police.
Chris Eccles, secretary to the Department of Premier and Cabinet, gave evidence to the inquiry into hotel quarantine.
Here is Mr Eccles' statement:
"Today I have resigned from the position of Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, effective immediately.
"I have been a public servant for over 30 years. It has been a great honour to have led the public services of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria, having been appointed by both Labor and Liberal-led governments to the head of the Premier’s Departments in those states.
"I would like to thank the Premier for the most immediate privilege of serving his government and the people of Victoria.
"I have taken this decision with a sense of clarity that to remain in this position would be a significant distraction to the ongoing work of the Victorian public sector and the citizens of our state as we enter a critical phase of easing COVID-19 restrictions.
"It is also with clarity that I reaffirm the evidence I provided to the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Board of Inquiry and the department’s closing submission to the Board.
"My evidence is emphatic that neither myself nor the Department of Premier and Cabinet made a decision to use private security as part of the Hotel Quarantine Program."
More to come.
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