By ERWIN CHLANDA
Senator Nigel Scullion (pictured) will make no comment on last night’s change of Prime Minister until the new Liberal parliamentary wing leader, Malcolm Turnbull, has allocated the ministries.
This is likely to happen on the weekend.
A spokesman for Sen Scullion says he is hoping to remain the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, a position for which he “put up his hand,” as he had told the Alice Springs News Online previously.
Senator Scullion, a member of the Country Liberal Party in the NT, has chosen to sit with the Nationals in Federal Parliament, and as such he did not participate in last night’s leadership vote.
By contrast MHR for the Top End seat of Solomon, Natasha Griggs, is sitting with the Liberal Party and was in the party room for the spill vote.
She arrived there smiling broadly, walking alongside the now defeated Prime Minister Tony Abbott, at the head of a gaggle of some 25 supporters, just before the scheduled starting time of the vote.
Ms Griggs (pictured) told Territory FM’s Daryl Manzie this morning that she was pleased to be walking with Mr Abbott, describing herself as a “fierce supporter” of his.
“And he was a very big supporter of mine, ” she said, “loyalty is one of my core values.”
She had supported Mr Abbot in the spill earlier this year: “I don’t regret supporting him. Last night I was receiving hundreds of emails urging me to support Tony. I was very proud to walk alongside this man.”
However, Ms Griggs said Mr Turnbull “will also be afforded the same loyalty that a leader should expect to receive.
“I will be pushing Malcolm to have the same determination around north Australia as Prime Minister Abbott did,” she said, although she had not yet spoken to Mr Turnbull about the region.
Ms Griggs said she has an excellent relationship with Julie Bishop “and this will not change”.
Meanwhile Daniel Davis, the vice-president of the CLP, says the party has no way to control events in the Liberal Party or its parliamentary wing in the Federal Parliament.
“The reality is that we work with whomever is the leader,” says Mr Davis.
UPDATE 5:15pm by DANIELLE deBRENNI
Chief Minister Adam Giles (pictured) said this afternoon: “I’ll work with whoever is PM.
“I just want to ensure regional Australia like Alice Springs is square and centre of Canberra’s policy agenda, that we focus on jobs and growth, develop northern Australia and support indigenous advancement through economic development.
“I am looking forward to Malcolm coming to the Northern Territory.”