It’s not often that a leader gives a budget speech in which they also announce their retirement, but Michael Gunner did it just this morning.
Northern Territory Prime Minister Michael Gunner, one of NT Labor’s most successful leaders, announced his resignation after delivering his latest budget, saying his heart is no longer in work and he wants to spend more time with the company. his young family.
Gunner intends to remain as an MP but has not expressed any interest in a ministerial portfolio.
The 46-year-old has a two-year-old boy and his second child was born in April. He says he is unable to give 100% to the job and nothing less was “short term” Territorians.
“There’s never a perfect time to step back, to walk away, to try others,” he said. “But for me, for my family, this seems like the right time.”
He had a heart attack just before the pandemic in 2020.
Gunner consolidated the ALP as the natural ruling party of the NT after ousting a chaotic and deeply divided campaign liberal government in 2016.
Labor’s Clare Martin had broken the CLP’s grip in the Top End in 2001, but CLP had returned to power in 2012. In 2016, Gunner virtually wiped out the Conservative party, leaving it with only two seats, and convincingly won again. in 2020 in the wake of its successful management of the pandemic.
With a replacement to be chosen by the ALP caucus later this week, it’s unclear what impact Gunner’s departure could have on the federal election. Both Lingiari (vacated by Labor’s Warren Snowdon) and Solomon (held by Labor’s Luke Gosling) are up for grabs.