Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Natasha Fyles sworn in as Northern Territory Chief Minister, replacing Michael Gunner

Natasha Fyles has become the Northern Territory’s 12th Chief Minister after the shock resignation of Michael Gunner earlier this week.

Ms Fyles, 43, was sworn in as Chief Minister at Government House this afternoon following a Labor caucus meeting this morning where she was selected as the party’s new leader.

Ms Fyles said she had been selected “as the unanimous choice” by the Labor caucus.

“This morning I asked my caucus colleagues to support me as the new leader for Territory Labor, and they have given me their support,” she said.

“I have been selected as the unanimous choice as leader for Territory Labor.

“I want to thank my colleagues for their support today, for the way we have conducted ourselves as a team this week. We’ve had passionate but respectful discussions.

“We have each put our views forward, but we have stuck together, and we will continue to do so.

Ms Fyles During Her Swearing In Ceremony At Government House In Darwin.
Ms Fyles was sworn in as Chief Minister at Government House in Darwin on Friday afternoon.,Nation World News: Che Chorley,

Focus to remain on jobs, economy

Ms Fyles said she first joined the Labor party in 1993 and was proud to be elected Territory Labor leader.

“I’ve put my hand up to serve because I love this place. I want to work every day to make it better,” she said.

“I’ve been in parliament for nearly a decade. I’ve served on the opposition frontbench, as a cabinet minister and as Leader of Government Business. I’m ready for this job and I will hit the ground running.”

Natasha Fyles Smiles At A Press Conference.
Ms Files highlighted the economy, social issues and government stability as her key priorities as leader.,Nation World News: Che Chorley,

Ms Fyles said the party’s focus would remain on creating jobs, growing the economy and tackling the Northern Territory’s social challenges.

She said “it was a bit of a shock” to be selected as Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, after Mr Gunner resigned suddenly on Tuesday.

“It’s a bit of a shock, but it’s an absolute privilege. I do not take this responsibility lightly.”

Labor Members Walking Near Government House In Darwin.
The Labor caucus selected Ms Fyles as Chief Minister at a meeting on Friday morning.,Nation World News: Che Chorley,

Ms Fyles also thanked Mr Gunner for his work in the position, which he has held for nearly six years.

,[Mr Gunner] served the Territory well. He put his heart and soul into the job, and we are grateful that our government can continue to count on his experience and advice,” she said.

The selection of Ms Fyles means the party does not have to take the vote of its rank-and-file membership — a process that could have taken the party up to four weeks.

Natasha Fyles And Nicole Manison At A Press Conference.
Ms Files announced the result of the caucus meeting alongside Acting Chief Minister Nicole Manison.,Nation World News: Che Chorley,

Labor ministers had expressed optimism the party would come out of the caucus meeting with a new leader during the week.

But in the lead up, speculation had mounted Ms Fyles, Police Minister Nicole Manison and Member for Johnston Joel Bowden could all contest the leadership, forcing weeks of political uncertainty.

A Photo Of Michael Gunner Smiling With Health Minister Natasha Fyles.
Ms Fyles and Mr Gunner on election night in 2020.,Nation World News: Andie Smith,

Ms Fyles is the Leader of Government Business and has been the NT Health Minister since 2016, and was the Attorney-General between 2016 and 2020.

She was the first elected to parliament in 2012 and was promoted to the frontbench after Labor’s landslide win in 2016.

Posted , updated


Nation World News Desk
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