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Kon Vatskalis scoffs at rumours of pre-poll retirement

TERRITORY Health Minister Kon Vatskalis yesterday denied reports that he would retire at the next election.
“Reports of my retirement are exaggerated,” he said.
“I’m of Greek descent and we don’t leave the field of battle.”
The report appeared in The Weekend Australian newspaper.
“The reporter didn’t ask me,” Mr Vatskalis said.
“The report obviously comes from the CLP.
“The newspaper was offered the story by the CLP and bought it.”
At least one Labor Minister will quit at the 2012 election.
Education Minister Chris Burns is angered by the speculation, but the Northern Territory News understands he has made up his mind to go.
Former Labor deputy chief minister Marion Scrymgour is also expected to retire.
And there are persistent reports that former CLP leader Jodeen Carney will quit in 2012.
She dismisses the speculation as “wishful thinking” by Labor.
But all the reports have come to the Northern Territory News from CLP sources in Alice Springs and Darwin.
Mr Vatskalis accused The Australian newspaper of campaigning against the Territory Government.
He said proof of this was the newspaper’s failure to carry a story about an independent report saying the NT Government spends 60 per cent of its health budget on indigenous Territorians, even though they make up only 30 per cent of the population.
Mr Vatskalis said The Australian had run several stories alleging the Government had diverted federal funds meant for indigenous people to non-Aboriginal Territorians.
“This national independent report disproves that,” he said.
(source: nt news)

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