Leader of the Opposition (Northern Territory)


The Leader of the Opposition is an official role usually occupied by the leader of the second largest party in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. In the event that that party or coalition wins an election, the Leader of the Opposition will most likely become the Chief Minister.[1]

While the Legislative Assembly was created in 1974, there was no parliamentary opposition for the first three-year term, as every seat was held by the government, with the exception of two that were won by independents.

# Opposition Leader[2] Party Dates in Opposition
1 Jon Isaacs Labor 21 September 1977 – 1 November 1981
2 Bob Collins Labor 2 November 1981 – 18 August 1986
3 Terry Smith Labor 19 August 1986 – 1 November 1990
4 Brian Ede Labor 2 November 1990 – 9 April 1996
5 Maggie Hickey Labor 16 April 1996 – 2 February 1999
6 Clare Martin Labor 3 February 1999 – 26 August 2001
7 Denis Burke Country Liberal 28 August 2001 – 14 November 2003
8 Terry Mills Country Liberal 15 November 2003 – 4 February 2005
(7) Denis Burke Country Liberal 7 February 2005 – 17 June 2005
9 Jodeen Carney Country Liberal 29 June 2005 – 28 January 2008
(8) Terry Mills Country Liberal 29 January 2008 – 29 August 2012
10 Delia Lawrie Labor 29 August 2012 – 20 April 2015
11 Michael Gunner Labor 20 April 2015 – 31 August 2016
12 Gary Higgins Country Liberal 2 September 2016 – 1 February 2020
13 Lia Finocchiaro Country Liberal 1 February 2020 – 18 March 2020
Disputed 18 March 2020 – 24 March 2020
(13) Lia Finocchiaro Country Liberal 24 March 2020 – present

2020 Opposition Leadership dispute


On 18 March 2020 Terry Mills claimed to have become Opposition Leader on the basis of the Territory Alliance now having three MLAs to the Country Liberal Party's two.[3] No motion acknowledging a change in the office was passed by the Assembly. On 24 March 2020 Mills presented a shadow Cabinet to the Assembly and was initially referred to as Leader of the Opposition, without formal motion. However later that day Lia Finocchiaro moved that the office of Leader of the Opposition be declared vacant as it was "unclear" who the "official opposition" was, and that a secret ballot between the two be held to determine Opposition Leader status. The motion was passed and Finocchiaro won the ballot 5-3,[4] with Labor MLAs present not voting. [5]

References


  1. Schools Newsletter, Parliamentary Relations and Education Unit (Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory), June 2010.
  2. Office Holders 1st–11th Assemblies, Government of the Northern Territory, 9 February 2009.
  3. "Territory Alliance says it has taken NT Opposition status". Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  4. "Draft Daily Hansard 24 March 2020". Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  5. "CLP returned as NT Opposition in shock ballot". Retrieved 24 March 2020.