Sky News Australia – Oct 12, 2020
Victoria’s top public servant Chris Eccles has resigned from the Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet after phone records proved he was the staffer who called former Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton at a key moment officials were discussing the use of private security.
Ms Eccles originally gave the hotel quarantine inquiry evidence he could not “recall whether I telephoned former Chief Commissioner Graham”.
After Premier Daniel Andrews was grilled by Sky News host Peta Credlin about the missing phone records the inquiry ordered the records be handed over.
“Following a request by the Board of Inquiry on Saturday 10 October 2020, I requested detailed telephone records from my telecommunications carrier,” Mr Eccles said.
“These records show I called Mr Ashton at 1:17pm and that I spoke with him for just over two minutes.
“The telephone records do not in any way demonstrate that I, or indeed anyone else in DPC made a decision that private security be used in the Hotel Quarantine Program.
“I am absolutely certain I did not convey to Mr Ashton any decision regarding the use of private security as I was unaware any such decision had been made, and I most certainly had not made such a decision myself.”