Northern Territory Cabinet shake-up

By Angela Dorizas

Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson has announced a major Cabinet reshuffle, including the dumping of two senior ministers from the Health and Education portfolios.

Chris Burns has been dropped from the Health Portfolio following a series of scandals at Royal Darwin Hospital, including the rape of a baby in the hospital’s paediatric ward. Mr Burns has been moved to the portfolios of Business, Tourism, Trade, Asian Relations and Defence.

Deputy Chief Minister, Marion Scrymgour, who came under fire for the sacking of the Department of Education chief executive officer Margaret Banks, has been dropped from the Education portfolio and appointed Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Racing, Gaming and Licensing and Alcohol Policy.

Minister for Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources, Konstantine Vatskalis, has been handed the Health portfolio, while the Chief Minister takes on Education.

Mr Henderson said he “refreshed” Cabinet to protect the economy from the global financial crisis and resulting unemployment.

“Jobs are my number one priority – that’s why I’ve taken on employment, education and training,” he said.

“As the Chief Minister of a can-do Government I want fresh ideas and real results – and that’s what this team will deliver. Our economy isn’t immune from the global financial crisis – but we are better placed than most – and I want to keep it that way."

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