South Australia's Deputy Premier and Attorney-General will stand aside from her roles after state parliament passed a vote of no confidence in the cabinet minister.
Vickie Chapman has been engulfed by conflict of interest claims after a parliamentary inquiry last week found she had, on at least three occasions, misled parliament over a rejected Kangaroo Island development application.
Despite repeatedly maintaining she had done nothing wrong, Ms Chapman said she would stand aside to allow SA Ombudsman Wayne Lines to conduct an "independent" investigation into her rejection in August of the application to build a timber port on the island's north coast.
"I maintain that I have made the right decision in respect of the KI seaport proposal and that I had no conflict of interest, actual or perceived," she said in a statement on Monday.
"I welcome the independent ombudsman's inquiry but it is important that I step aside to ensure there is no impediment to this process being undertaken.
"I do not wish in any way to compromise the ombudsman or his delegate to be able to undertake this inquiry."
On Thursday, MPs voted 23-22 in favour of a no-confidence motion against Ms Chapman.
It was the first time in SA political history a no-confidence motion against a sitting minister had passed in the state's lower house.
The vote came after a parliamentary committee earlier that day tabled its report on her handling of the $40 million Kangaroo Island development application.
Ms Chapman's family owns a rental property on the island near a timber plantation that would have been felled and trucked to the proposed Smith Bay deep-sea port.
She had told the committee she had no personal interest in any business or industry on the island.
But the committee found otherwise and recommended she be suspended from parliament for nine days and make a public apology for misleading statements about the application.
Premier Steven Marshall said he had reluctantly accepted Ms Chapman's advice that she stand aside and respected her decision.
"The ombudsman is overseen by the Attorney-General and she has therefore advised me that it is appropriate that she step aside from this position until the report is received," he said.
"I look forward to the conclusion of the inquiry and welcoming her back into cabinet soon.
"The Attorney-General has been my deputy for nearly nine years and I thank her for her hard work, dedication and unwavering support."
But Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said there had been growing pressure within the Liberal Party for Ms Chapman to stand down, and accused Mr Marshall of showing "weak leadership" on the issue.
"This is how Steven Marshall reacts to every scandal engulfing his government, repeatedly refusing to act then finally getting dragged into doing something when it is way too late," Mr Malinauskas said.
"However, this still isn't enough. Vickie Chapman must resign from cabinet."
- Australian Associated Press
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