John Elferink

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The Honourable
John Elferink
MLA
Member of the Northern Territory Parliament
for Port Darwin
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 August 2008
Preceded by Kerry Sacilotto
Member of the Northern Territory Parliament
for MacDonnell
In office
30 August 1997 – 18 June 2005
Preceded by Neil Bell
Succeeded by Alison Anderson
Personal details
Born Johan Wessel Elferink
(1965-09-22) 22 September 1965 (age 49)
Netherlands
Political party Country Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Dee Elferink
Children Two
Alma mater Monash University
University of New England
Occupation Police officer

Johan Wessel (John) Elferink (born 22 September 1965)[1] is an Australian politician. He is a member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly for the Country Liberal Party.

Early life[edit]

Elferink was born in the Netherlands, but moved to Australia in 1979 as a teenager. His family settled in Darwin, and he subsequently graduated from Casuarina High School. In 1983, Elferink joined the Northern Territory Police as a cadet. He subsequently rose to the rank of Sergeant (Qualified to Senior Sergeant), and served in both Darwin and Alice Springs. While in the police force, he embarked on a correspondence degree through Monash University, and ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Arts at the end of 1997. In 2008 John also graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New England. He was admitted to the bar in October 2009.

Political career[edit]

In 1997, Elferink won Country Liberal preselection for the rural electorate of MacDonnell after incumbent Labor member Neil Bell announced his retirement. On paper, Elferink faced daunting odds; the ALP held the seat with a majority of 16 percent. However, the ALP made a serious blunder by preselecting union organiser Mark Wheeler, prompting indigenous leader Kenneth Lechleitner to run as an independent and direct his preferences to the CLP. Elferink picked up enough of Leichleitner's preferences to take the seat on a swing of 18.7 percent. Although a redistribution ahead of the 2001 election seemingly made the seat less safe for him, Elferink was re-elected amidst a massive swing to the ALP throughout the Territory.[2] He served in the Shadow Ministry under Opposition Leaders Terry Mills and Denis Burke.

Elferink became an increasingly prominent member of the shadow ministry during his first two years in a portfolio. However, by early 2003, Elferink became increasingly frustrated with the leadership of Opposition Leader Denis Burke, who was struggling to maintain his grip on the party at the time. In June 2003, Elferink resigned as Shadow Minister for Local Government and Indigenous Affairs[3] and publicly slammed Burke's leadership, labelling him "arrogant" and calling for him to be replaced by rival Terry Mills.

He later returned to the shadow ministry in September, taking on the portfolio of Police, Fire and Emergency Services.

By late 2004, Elferink was once again becoming a key member of the parliamentary party, and this was reflected when, on 12 October, he was made Opposition Whip. Elferink was subsequently rewarded for this support, being made Leader of Opposition Business and Shadow Minister for Community Development, Housing, Local Government, Sport and Recreation, Regional Development and Indigenous Affairs, while maintaining the position of Whip. Elferink stood for re-election for the seat of Macdonnell at the 2005 election. However, facing star candidate and indigenous activist Alison Anderson, Elferink was heavily defeated, suffering a two-party swing of 20.6 percent. He later served as party director for the Country Liberal Party.

Elferink contested the seat of Port Darwin at 9 August 2008 Legislative Assembly general election,[4] and defeated Australian Labor Party incumbent Kerry Sacilotto.[5] In opposition, he held the Shadow portfolios of Shadow Treasurer, Shadow Minister for Public Employment, Shadow Minister for Essential Services as well as being the Leader of Opposition Business in the Territory Assembly.

When the CLP won the 2012 Northern Territory election, Elferink was made a minister in the Mills Ministry: Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, and Minister for Correctional Services. On 6 March, he was given the additional portfolios of Treasurer and Corporate and Information Services. Elferink now holds the portfolios of Attorney-General and Justice, Correctional Services, Children and Families, Public Employment, and Leader of Government Business in the Giles Ministry. For two years, he served in cabinet alongside Anderson, who crossed the floor to the CLP in 2011, but was dropped from the cabinet in 2013.

Elferink is married to Dee Elferink and has two daughters Eleanor and Gwenevere.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Adlam, Nigel (16 February 2009). "Elf's battle with bottle behind him". Northern Territory News. 
  2. ^ Green, Antony (2005). "MacDonnell". 2005 Northern Territory Election. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/nt/content/2003/s886271.htm
  4. ^ http://www.countryliberals.org.au/content.php?id=35
  5. ^ http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2008/08/10/5085_ntelection08.html
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Neil Bell
Member for MacDonnell
1997–2005
Succeeded by
Alison Anderson
Preceded by
Kerry Sacilotto
Member for Port Darwin
2008–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Robyn Lambley
Treasurer of the Northern Territory
2013–present
Incumbent