The Northern Territory Environment Minister denies she let down her constituents by skipping a vote on the McArthur River Mine legislation she disagreed with.
Earlier this month, the Territory Government rushed through an emergency bill to override a Supreme Court decision and allow the mine’s expansion to go ahead.
Three Indigenous backbenchers crossed the floor, claiming the move was insensitive to sorry business happening around Borroloola.
Marion Scrymgour skipped the vote and spent the next fortnight on the Tiwi Islands considering her future.
Ms Scrymgour says she did not want to step down as Minister and so decided to miss the vote.
“I was out of the chamber – that decision has created for me personally a number of issues that I’ve taken myself away for a couple of weeks to really think about,” she said.
“I am only human. I can’t push aside how I feel on a personal level.”
Meanwhile the CLP says Chief Minister Clare Martin waged a deliberate campaign of deception about Ms Scrymgour’s absence from the vote.
At the time, Ms Martin said Ms Scrymgour had other commitments, but Ms Scrymgour says she discussed the issue with Ms Martin and decided to stay away.
Opposition Leader Jodeen Carney says both of them should resign.
“She told Territorians that Marion Scrymgour agreed with the Government’s decision,” Ms Carney said.
“She didn’t. She told Territorians that Marion Scrymgour had something else on, which is why she wasn’t in Parliament when the vote was taken. Clearly, by Marion Scrymgour’s own words, what Clare Martin said was untrue.”