Northern Territory: 3 Ministers Only in First Gunner Ministry

Michael Gunner, the new Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, announced his first Cabinet on Wednesday, following Labor’s victory in the NT election held on 27 August 2016.

Because counting continues and it’s not perfectly certain some potential Ministers will be elected, he’s done what Gough Whitlam did in 1972 and appointed a very small Ministry holding multiple portfolios: Gunner himself holds 41 portfolios, listed at the bottom of this article, in addition to Chief Minister, while the two others hold one portfolio each.

Here are the new Ministers, with some short biographies*.  The final results in the election for a Legislative Assembly of 25 are almost certain to see the Country-Liberal Party government of Adam Giles reduced to 2 seats, Labor secure 18, and independents with 5.  Of the 25, it is expected, once all seats are declared, twelve will be women; 6 will identify as being of aboriginal descent (the original article was in error, saying 7 indigenous Members would be elected – it will in fact be six, and the article has now been corrected – thanks to Ken Vowles for pointing out my error.)

This is the greatest proportion of women in any legislature** of any Australian jurisdiction, ever, and the greatest number and proportion of indigenous members in any legislature** of any Australian jurisdiction, ever.

Michael Gunner is also the first Northern Territory-born Chief Minister.


Michael Gunner
Chief Minister and more***
Member for Fannie Bay

Michael Gunner is a fourth generation Territorian whose family have lived and worked here since the 1930’s.  Born on 6 January 1976 in Alice Springs, he is the first Northern Territory-born Chief Minister.  He was educated in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, and Darwin and Northern Territory University.  He has represented the Territory in Rugby Union and at various times has played cricket for PINTS, and soccer for the Verdi Club in Alice Springs.  Michael has previously worked stocking shelves at Woolworths, as a union organiser, an electorate officer and a ministerial adviser.  He was first elected in August 2008, and became Labor Leader in April 2015.  Michael’s partner is Kristy O’Brien.
Natasha was born at the old Darwin hospital on 26 May 1978, grew up in the Northern suburbs and lives with her husband Paul Archbold and sons Oliver and Henry in Nightcliff.  She went to school in Darwin, and after completing her teaching degree at University of Canberra, returned to Darwin as a teacher for five years before travelling and working overseas.  Natasha became Executive Director of Royal Life Saving Society NT, and was active in the community including local swimming clubs, and Vice President of Nightcliff Family Childcare Centre.  She also worked as an aquatic administration assistant for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and as a public servant.  She was first elected in 2012. fyles_natasha

Natasha Fyles
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
Member for Nightcliff

Nicole Manison
Member for Wanguri

Nicole was born in 1979 in Tennant Creek, and grew up in her Wanguri electorate.  She attended local schools including Holy Spirit School, Dripstone Middle School and Casuarina Senior College before attending Curtin University in Perth and securing a Bachelor of Mass Communication.  Nicole has been the Member for Wanguri since February 2013 when she won the seat in a by-election.  Prior to entering Parliament, she worked for PowerWater and government departments in a range of Communications and Human Resource, as an adviser to several Ministers in the previous Labor Government, and in the private sector in Perth.  Nicole plays and coaches for Waratah Netball Club, and lives in her electorate with her husband Scott Mc Neill, and son Aiden.



*    These biographies were sourced from the Northern Territory ALP website here, the ABC’s Antony Green’s NT election website here, Wikipedia, here, and personal knowledge.
** Technically it isn’t a Parliament.
*** As well as Premier, until a new Cabinet is appointed in the next two weeks, Chief Min Michael Gunner also holds the portfolios of  Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Northern and Central Australia , Minister for Economic Development and Major Projects, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Correctional Services , Minister for Business, Minister for Racing, Gaming and Licensing, Minister for Asian Engagement and Trade, Minister for Employment and Training, Minister for Public Employment , Minister for Corporate and Information Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Defence Industries, Minister for Senior Territorians, Minister for Lands and Planning , Minister for Mines and Energy, Minister for Children and Families, Minister for Health, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Mental Health Services , Minister for Education, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Essential Services, Minister for Veterans Support , Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries, Minister for Land Resource Management, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Arts and Museums, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Young Territorians, Minister for Local Government and Community Services, Minister for Housing, Minister for Parks and Wildlife, Minister for Men’s Policy, Minister for Women’s Policy, Minister for Statehood


About Mike Smith

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Posted on September 1, 2016, in Change, Chief Minister, Democracy, Election, Michael Gunner, Northern Territory, Parliament, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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