South Australia’s governor has been officially informed that Parliament has lost confidence in Deputy Prime Minister Vickie Chapman.
- Speaker Dan Cregan has informed the governor of the no-confidence vote against Deputy Prime Minister Vickie Chapman
- One committee found that Ms Chapman had real and perceived conflicts of interest in a planning decision
- She has consistently denied the allegations, and Prime Minister Steven Marshall continues to support her
Ms Chapman lost a no-confidence vote in Parliament yesterday after a parliamentary inquiry found she had a real and perceived conflict of interest and had misled the House over a decision to block a port development on Kangaroo Island.
Speaker Dan Cregan delivered the results of the vote to Gov. Frances Adamson this morning.
“I’m bound by [the] vote in the House and I can not unreasonably refuse to attend the Governor to present the information regarding the no-confidence motion, “Mr Cregan told ABC Radio Adelaide.
The proposal says Vickie Chapman should be stripped of her ministerial portfolios and from the state executive council.
It was an unprecedented position for the South Australian governor to be in, but Mr Cregan says it could have been avoided.
“If they were a resignation, then I imagine, of course, that the governor did not need to take other steps if the governor needed to take any steps at all,” he said.
“And of course, if there had already been a resignation, it follows that I did not have to attend Government House on behalf of the House.”
Premier continues to support his deputy
This morning, Prime Minister Steven Marshall said it was up to him to advise the governor instead of the president.
“I have made myself extraordinarily clear on the issue of Vickie Chapman, for weeks and weeks and weeks. She enjoys my 100 percent support.”
However, South Australian opposition leader Peter Malinauskas called on the Prime Minister to remove Mrs Chapman from her post.
“He should exercise the function of leader and dismiss his attorney general,” Mr Malinauskas told ABC News Breakfast.
The no-confidence motion was the culmination of the government’s loss of control in the Folketing, where three former Liberal MPs now sit across the bench.
Two of these MPs sided with Labor and supported the motion of censure, while a third was absent from the vote.
Mount Gambier MP Troy Bell said he made his decision after reading the parliamentary committee’s report on Mrs Chapman’s behavior.
“I think independents play a very important role,” Mr Bell said.
“They are not adapted to political parties, and I think we bring a fair mind and transparency to the role of Parliament.
MP Sam Duluk in the southern suburbs also supported the no-confidence motion, saying Mrs Chapman should now resign from the government.
“What [Attorney-General] doing from here is of course a matter for her, but the Westminster tradition says she must resign, “Mr Duluk told ABC Radio Adelaide.
Yorke Peninsula MP Fraser Ellis was absent from the Chamber when the vote was held.
He described the affair as an internal altercation, saying parliament should focus on issues such as regional health or access to mining on agricultural land.
“I think people living in and around Maitland really give us things about perception and semantics when they show up at the local hospital after closing time, and there is no local doctor on duty because SA Health apparently can not find one.”
Ms Chapman’s decision to block Kangaroo Island’s port development has now been referred to the State Ombudsman, and Mr Marshall said he is awaiting this report.
He pointed out that the two Liberal MPs in the parliamentary committee examining Mrs Chapman’s decision did not agree with the results of the inquiry.
“Let the ombudsman make a decision,” Mr Marshall said.
“People say there was a result from a committee that had been set up, but look, the reality was that [that] it was not unique. It was not unanimous, “Mr Marshall said.
“There was a disagreement which was filed at the exact same time.”
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