Senator Nigel Scullion will not contest the next election after announcing his resignation from federal parliament in a statement today.
The Country Liberal Party Senator for the Northern Territory has sat in the federal parliament since October 2001. He served as the Minister for Indigenous Affairs for the past five years and was leader of The Nationals in the Senate between 2007-2008 , and since 2013.
"It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve the people of the Northern Territory for the last seven years in the Australian Senate," he said today in a statement.
Mr Scullion will continue in his current role until the results of the election are known.
"My path to public office wasn't a conventional one. I was just an everyday fisherman and sometime buffalo shooter and raised my three beautiful children ... on a fishing boat off the coast of Gove and North East Arnhem Land," he said.
In November last year, Mr Scullion was criticised by a number of Aboriginal political commentators after it emerged he had signed off on several grants to non-Indigenous fishing and cattle grazier groups in the NT using funds from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS).
Mr Scullion is the second high-profile government minister to quit federal politics in as many days, after Michael Keenan, minister for human services and digital transformation, announced his departure yesterday.
They join Kelly O'Dwyer who announced her resignation last week.