CANBERRA, Australia, The Australian government has lost its third minister in a week with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion, announcing he will quit politics at the next election.
Scullion made his announcement yesterday, only days after Kelly O'Dwyer, the minister for women and minister for jobs and industrial relations, and Michael Keenan, the human services minister, announced they would not contest the general election, which is due in May.
However, Scullion refuted suggestions that the government's poor performance in the polls was the reason behind his decision.
"I wouldn't write the coalition government off, I tell you you'd be making a mistake," he told reporters in Northern Territory, the region he has served as a senator since 2001.
"I believe they will be re-elected and I think it's a sensible decision of the Australian people," Scullion said.
"It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve the people of the Northern Territory for the last 17 years."
"I thank all Territorians for their support over this time," he added.
Scullion was sworn in as the Indigenous Affairs Minister in 2013, holding the position under three different leaders of the governing Liberal National Party (LNP).
O'Dwyer announced her decision to quit politics one week before Scullion, saying, she was doing so for the "very personal reasons" of wanting to spend more time with her children.
Keenan cited similar reasons to O'Dwyer for his decision, saying he had become "an absent father" during his 15 years in politics.
"I have always worked hard as a member of parliament and as a minister, but after doing this for 15 years, I cannot commit to another term," Keenan said.
"Over the Christmas break, it became very clear to me personally, that times have changed and that this decision was the right one for my family and myself," Keenan said.
Source: NAM News Network