An ex-teacher, Natasha Fyles, will be the Northern Territory’s next chief minister following Michael Gunner’s surprise resignation earlier in the week.
Ms Fyles was selected by Labor’s 14-member caucus on Friday following days of behind-the-scenes wrangling between the party’s left and right factions.
‘This morning the caucus has selected me as the unanimous choice for leader of the Territory Labor Party,’ Ms Fyles said in a statement.
Natasha Fyles (pictured) will be sworn in as the next chief minister of Northern Territory on Friday
Ms Fyles (pictured) is the second woman to be appointed chief minister and the third to lead the Northern Territory
Factional wrangling earlier in the week meant many didn’t expect Ms Fyles (pictured) would end up with the top job
She will be sworn in as chief minister by the territory’s administrator later on Friday.
Ms Fyles, from the left faction, is the second woman to be appointed chief minister and the third to lead Territory Labor.
Michael Gunner (pictured) resigned on Tuesday saying he couldn’t keep giving 100 per cent after a heart attack in 2020, the pandemic and the birth of his second son
She is also the second of the NT’s 12 chief ministers to be born in the territory since the Legislative Assembly’s first election in 1974.
No one publicly nominated for the top job but it was expected to go Mr Gunner’s right-aligned deputy, Nicole Manison.
Ex-health minister Ms Fyles, 43, was viewed as her likely deputy.
Former union boss and AFL player Joel Bowden is also understood to have expressed an interest in the top job from the back bench but his left-faction challenge faded on Thursday.
Mr Gunner, 46, stood down on Tuesday moments after handing down the NT budget, saying his head and heart were no longer in the job.
Mr Gunner cited a heart attack in 2020, the pandemic, and the birth of his second son as key reasons for leaving the NT top job, saying he was tired.
‘I can no longer keep looking Territorians in the eye and say ‘I can keep giving 100 per cent every day’, and if I can’t do that I shouldn’t be in the chair.’ he told reporters on Tuesday.
‘When I held Nash for the first time, that was it, game over. I knew straight away that I was done,’
Mr Gunner’s replacement, Ms Fyles, a former schoolteacher and mother of two boys, entered parliament in 2012.