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WATCH: Fyles speaks for first time as new Chief Minister

Ms Fyles was elected by the Labor caucus to replace outgoing Chief Minister Michael Gunner following his shock resignation on Tuesday. Ms Fyles said it was a unanimous decision by her colleague, but said there had been “passionate but respectful discussion” among the politicians during the leadership vacuum.“We’ve stuck together. We have sorted this out quickly and will focus on the real job,” she said. Ms Fyles was emotional in the press conference, her voice breaking as she accepted the top job. She said the Cabinet would continue in their current roles for the next week of Parliament sittings before meeting again later.Ms Fyles will continue as Health Minister for the next week, as well as becoming Chief Minister and Treasurer. Ms Fyles will become the second NT Chief Minister to be born in the Territory. “ I are now raising our two children, Ollie and Henry here in the Territory because it is the best place in the world,”she said in an emotional opening address. “I put my hand up to serve because I love this place. I want to work every day to make it better.” Ms Fyles acknowledged outgoing Chief Minister Michael Gunner. “He served the territory well. He put his heart and soul into the job,” she said in a emotional opening address.She later hugged deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison who had been acting in the role since Mr Gunner’s departure on Tuesday. Ms Manison also spoke at the press conference saying she was proud to have been in parliament alongside Ms Fyles since her election. Mr Gunner has also thrown his support behind Ms Fyles, posting to Facebook she was was Australia’s “best Health Minister”. “Congratulations Natasha Fyles: Member for Nightcliff, another Territory born kid who will always put Territorians first,” Mr Gunner said. UPDATE 12.30PM: UPDATE: NATASHA Fyles is the new Chief Minister of the Northern Territory.“This morning the caucus has selected me as the unanimous choice for Leader of the Territory Labor Party,” Ms Fyles said in a statement.“Our united and stable team is now focused on getting on with our first priority – serving Territorians.”Ms Fyles, from The Left faction, will be sworn in immediately by the Administrator.It follows a caucus meeting on Friday morning that lasted over an hour.Michael Gunner’s resignation during his Budget speech on Tuesday sparked an extraordinary week of factional games within Parliamentary Labor as prominent figures within the party jostled for the leadership.It is not yet clear who will hold the deputy leadership.There is also expected to be a cabinet reshuffle. A senior Labor figure hailing from the unsuccessful right faction said the party needed to unify behind the leader. They said in the condition of anonymity that The Right “weren’t stoked” by the result but that the party needed to back their new leader. Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese, who flies in to Darwin on Friday evening, said he knew “Natasha well” and she would make a good Chief Minister.Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison, who had been tipped to take the top job, took to Facebook on Friday morning to congratulate her new leader.“A huge congratulations to my dear friend and amazing colleague Natasha Fyles … on becoming the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory,” Ms Manison wrote.“I am incredibly proud of her and know she will do a great job leading our team working to make the Territory a better place for everyone.”Ms Fyles lives in and represents the electorate of Nightcliff, taking in the suburb of the same name, Coconut Grove and Rapid Creek.She has been most prominent in recent years in her capacity as Health Minister, where she was key to spearheading the government’s response to Covid-19.While often overshadowed by Mr Gunner for major announcements for the pandemic, Ms Fyles has proven herself a sturdy operator and unflappable in the press scrum.She takes the reins of Chief Minister after a meteoric rise in Territory politics. She was elected in 2012, helped contribute to the party’s landslide victory in 2016 and has held important roles, including leader of government business and Attorney-General.Ms Fyles is known for her fiery demeanour in Question Time and holds sway on a range of major government portfolios. Ms Fyles has received both praise and anger over her management of the pandemic as both the Health Minister and National Resilience Minister. She also heads the portfolios for tourism, major events, racing, gaming and licensing and alcohol policy as well as the Leader of Government Business. She was also the Racing Minister during the $12m Darwin Turf Club grandstand scandal. She currently sits on the Privileges, Standing Orders, Standing Committee on the ICAC parliamentary committees. The former St Mary’s Primary School physical education teacher and Executive Director of Royal Life Saving Society NT won the traditional Labor seat in 2012. She has held the seat for three terms, which has become the safest electorate in the Territory with a 24.9 per cent majority. She previously served as the Attorney-General for four years from 2016, before taking on more than six portfolios following the 2020 election.Get the most from your NT News digital [email protected] follow Thomas Morgan

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