The minister leading the NT Government’s IT campaign, David Tollner, has formally resigned over unsavoury comments he made about the son of a Country Liberal Party colleague.
Tollner, who served as Corporate and Information Services Minister on top of his duties as Treasurer and Deputy Chief Minister, made homophobic slurs against the son of CLP member Gary Higgins last week, according to reports in the NT News.
But what was originally passed off as a matter being resolved behind closed doors has now cost the Minister his frontbench position.
Tollner told media this morning he wasn’t intending to stand down, and he doubted Chief Minister Adam Giles would force him to go. He called the leak of the comments an “improper inquisition” into a “personal conversation”.
But this afternoon Giles released a statement confirming he had accepted Tollner’s resignation.
“We have been given the privilege to govern by Territorians and with that comes and expectation that we do so with the highest standards,” he said.
“After several conversations in recent days, I have received David’s resignation as Deputy Chief Minister and from the Ministry. I have accepted his resignation. David will now join the backbench and continue to serve his electorate.”
One of Tollner's responsibilites as IT minister was the high-profile, $70 million failure of a whole-of-government asset management system, which he blamed on CLP’s Labor predecessors and described as drawing “many parallels to Queensland’s Health payroll scandal”.
He announced in March this year that the Government had decided to cut its losses and dump the SAP-based system in favour of a reversion to older agency solutions.
The new platform, which will be accessible through a single unified web portal, will be called ASNET, and is expected to cost $12.5 million to set up over three years.