There were several questions in NT Parliament yesterday concerning Minister Scrymgour’s mysterious absence from Parliament the night of the vote for the McArthur River Amendment. See if you can decipher what really happened from the answers.
Member: Mr MILLS
To: CHIEF MINISTER
On 5 May 2007, you told the NT News in relation to the minister for the Environment, absent from the McArthur River Mine vote, that ‘Marion was fully committed as part of the Cabinet decision to take the legislative amendment’. On 23 May 2007, minister Scrymgour admitted the only reason she did not cross the floor and vote against the bill was because she would have to resign as a minister. Most importantly, minister Scrymgour said on the ABC: ‘I had discussions with the Chief Minister and my other colleagues and I made a decision that I would not vote’. Which is correct? Is it your statement on 5 May or the member for Arafura’s statement on 23 May?
Ms MARTIN: That was certainly what I said at the time.
There is no doubt that everybody went through a lot of internal searching about it and realised that we did not have an option other than to bring that legislation in at that time, and to pass it in urgency. That does not take away from the real fact that faced members in here of the difficulties. For the Environment minister, it was no different. The Environment minister is a very responsible Cabinet minister, and she made that decision. However, it does not set aside the personal issues that go with that.
There is no doubt about it; it was a tough time. However, I have the fullest confidence in the member for Arafura and …
Ms MARTIN: … It was a difficult time. Cabinet ministers know very well that a Cabinet decision is a Cabinet decision, and that is the end of the matter.