Cabinet: Mega department, mega debt




Chief Minister Michael Gunner (pictured) has given himself the portfolio of Treasurer previously held by Nicole Manison, presiding over a deficit approaching $8 billion.

Comments Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro: “In the wake of four years of relentless negative economic and fiscal management, it was prudent that the Treasurer lose her job.

“However, the only person less capable of being Treasurer in the Gunner Government is Michael Gunner himself.”

In The Centre he has promoted Chansey Paech to the Cabinet as Minister for Local Government, Minister for Remote Housing and Town Camps, Minister for Indigenous Essential Services, Minister for Central Australia Economic Reconstruction, and Minister for Arts and Culture.

“He takes on responsibility for our massive remote housing program – one of the Government’s most important commitments,” says Mr Gunner.

He himself will also be Minister for Major Projects and Territory Economic Reconstruction, and Minister for Strategic Defence Relations.

Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison is the Minister for Mining and Industry, Minister for Northern Australia and Trade, Minister for Defence Industries, Minister for Agribusiness and Aquaculture, and Minister for International Education.

She will also continue to serve as Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, which is welcomed by the Police Association.

Natasha Fyles will continue as Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Assembly and keep Health.

“Continuing as Police Minister and Health Minister, Ms Manison and Ms Fyles will also keep serving on the Security and Emergency Management Sub-Committee of Cabinet, ensuring certainty and continuity during this public health emergency,” says Mr Gunner.

“Minister Fyles has been tasked with working with the Federal government to pursue opportunities for the Howard Springs facility (pictured) to be a centre for national resilience, recognising the important role it has played during this crisis, as Minister for National Resilience.”

She is also Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Minister for Major Events, and Minister for Racing, Gaming and Licencing.

Eva Lawler will take on a super-portfolio as Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Minister for Renewables and Energy, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Security, and Minister for Essential Services.

“Eva will continue to oversee our unprecedented infrastructure program which has supported thousands of jobs in hard times, while also driving the jobs of the future in renewables,” says Mr Gunner.

Paul Kirby completes the Cabinet’s “economic recovery team” as Minister for Small Business, Minister for Jobs and Training, and Minister for Public Employment, also serving as Minister for Corporate and Digital Development, Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister for Recreational Fishing.

Lauren Moss is Minister for Education, Minister for Women, Minister for Youth, Minster for Seniors, and Minster for Children.

“As part of their new responsibilities, Minister Moss and Minister Kirby have been tasked with ensuring there are training and job pathways for our young Territorians who are close to completing their education and entering an uncertain employment market in the middle of a global recession.”

Selena Uibo is Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Treaty and Local Decision Making, and Minister for Parks and Rangers.

Another new Cabinet appointment is Kate Worden as Minister for Territory Families and Urban Housing, Minister for Disabilities, Minister for Sport, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

“Today Territorians have been delivered yet another blow by Michael Gunner with a reshuffle that is going to mean further devastation to our economy in the future years,” Ms Finocchiaro said yesterday.

“We’ve also seen the creation of mega departments. When Labor came to power in 2016, they created large departments, which have not been supported by Government to deliver on the outcomes needed.

“Now Labor have made even larger departments with our main economic drivers placed in a single megadepartment which will be directed by at least three separate ministers.

“This will cause confusion, overlap and uncertainty at a time when we need clarity and decisiveness.  It also creates additional bureaucracy by increasing the number of ministries by about 50%.

Photo collage at top, left to right, 1st row: Gunner, Manison, Paech, Fyles. 2nd row: Lawler, Moss, Uibo, Kirby.


  1. A few thoughts…
    Why is there a minister for both youth and children? Could this not be the one?
    Where is the Minister for Men? Do men not also have unique challenges that require government consideration?
    What experience does Mr Paech have in “economic reconstruction”?
    How relieved must Nicole Manison be to have given Treasurer to Gunner.
    What unprecedented infrastructure budget? It’s in decline if you look at actual budgeted amount spent / built.

  2. Always the way. When in debt, provide the Chiefs with more Indians in the public service. And give them a pay rise in the bargain to reward them for their tough job of telling the private sector how to run their own business into deeper debt.

  3. Gunner must be OK. After all, the majority somehow voted for him.
    Suck it up people!
    It’s the old accepting responsibility for ones actions.

  4. I recently had a difference with PAWA and Jacana. In the good old days I could go into the Plaza and talk to a representative and get a transcript of transactions.
    Now I have to go online and get an automated response telling me that they have unprecedented level of inquiries and to expect a response within five or so working days.
    This is not the fault of the staff in Darwin, but penny pinching in the name of savings, never mind the requirements of their clients.
    Try contacting the Ombudsman. Ring Darwin, and get the same response. The truth is we don’t really matter down here.
    They have simply followed the commercial line from the banks where they will have us stand inline for a half hour or so using our time and forgoing the income that we might have earned in that time waiting, knowing that it is cheaper for them than employing an additional person to better serve the needs of their clients.
    The solution is to collectively serve them a bill for the value of the time we spend waiting as their servants rather than the other way around. The same applies to parcel collection.

  5. Numbers are approximately 247,940 persons in the NT. 23.5% are early settlers, 8% are public servants. What % are children I do not know.
    Interesting to view this against the background of Margaret Thatcher’s quote: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
    Best of luck paying off your $8 billion.

  6. @ Trevor Shiell: Trevor, it’s all very true.
    What is particularly annoying is that we still pay for all their wages, but don’t receive the service. In non governmental areas, it is illegal to charge for a service that you fail to provide! But alas, the government makes the rules.
    Whilst on the subject, if someone came into or phoned your business and had to queue up or wait on the phone for 30 minutes for to be served, you’d lose the business – and rightly so!
    But the Post Office and Government agencies are exempt, because they have a captive market. Given that we are paying for this lousy service, it’s just adding insult to injury.
    I really do love the “… however, your call is important to us”. If it is that important to you, answer the bloody phone.

  7. I see our new Minister for Central Australia made his first comment as a Minister by threatening us once again with the acquisition of Anzac Oval.
    What a shame he didn’t choose something more positive, like accepting we have a youth crime problem and how he is going to fix it, than being an echo of the past.
    Labor have already wasted $3m trying to this project started.
    I wondered why Mr Gunner gave him a Ministry, over several more suitable, better educated people to choose from. Sounds like he is going to be a, “Yes Mr Gunner” member.
    All he needs to do now is give the top job in his office to Ms Wakefield and we will not have to worry for the next four years.


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