Terry Mills (politician)

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For the American professional basketball player, see Terry Mills.
The Honourable
Terry Mills
MLA
9th Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Elections: 2012
In office
29 August 2012 – 13 March 2013
Deputy Robyn Lambley (2012–2013)
Willem Westra van Holthe (2013)
Preceded by Paul Henderson
Succeeded by Adam Giles
Administrator Sally Thomas
Member of the Northern Territory Parliament
for Blain
In office
31 July 1999 – 20 February 2014
Preceded by Barry Coulter
Succeeded by Nathan Barrett
Personal details
Born Terrence Kennedy Mills
(1957-12-22) 22 December 1957 (age 56)
Geraldton, Western Australia
Political party Country Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Ros Serich
Alma mater Edith Cowan University

Terrence Kennedy "Terry" Mills (born 22 December 1957) is an Australian politician who was Chief Minister of the Northern Territory from 2012 to 2013. He has been a Country Liberal Party member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly since 1999, representing the electorate of Blain. He also led the Country Liberal Party in opposition from 2003 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2012 prior to his victory in the 2012 election. Mills served less than seven months as Chief Minister before being ousted by Adam Giles in March 2013 in a vote of his party's parliamentary caucus.

Early life[edit]

Mills was born in Geraldton, Western Australia, and lived in the agricultural town of Mullewa for a time with his parents, Bernard and Patricia. He was educated at St Patrick's College, Geraldton, before moving to Perth and gaining a Diploma of Education at the Western Australian College of Advanced Education. In 1983, he commenced teaching at a private school in Perth, and in the same year married Ros (née Serich). They had one son and one daughter. In 1989, the family moved to the Northern Territory, where Mills became principal of a Christian school.

Political career[edit]

Mills joined the Country Liberal Party in the 1990s, and in a 1999 by-election, was elected to the seat of Blain in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. Initially, he served as Chairman of Committees. In 2001, following the defeat of the Country Liberal government, Mills assumed the shadow portfolios of Youth Affairs, Education, Employment and Training, and Sport and Recreation.

On 14 November 2003, he replaced Denis Burke as Leader of the Opposition, and assumed the portfolios of Shadow Treasurer, Asian Relations and Trade, Territory Development, Railways, Racing and Gaming. He resigned on 4 February 2005 to be replaced by Burke, who subsequently lost the 2005 election and his own seat. Mills himself suffered a 9.5 percent swing amid the massive Labor wave that swept through the Territory. He was left as the only CLP member from Palmerston, an area that has historically been a CLP stronghold. Indeed, he was the only CLP member holding a Darwin-area seat in the Legislative Assembly.

Mills served as deputy opposition leader to Jodeen Carney for three years. On 29 January 2008, however, Mills asked Carney if she was willing to swap posts with him, with Mills taking over as leader and Carney becoming deputy leader. Carney turned the proposal down and instead called for a leadership spill. The vote was tied at two votes for Carney and two votes for Mills. Carney, taking a cue from former the action of Australian prime minister John Gorton in 1971, announced that a tie vote was not a vote of confidence and resigned. Mills then took the leadership unopposed on a second vote.[1][2]

At the August 2008 election, the CLP increased its representation to 11 seats (from four in the old parliament), regaining much of what it had lost in its severe beating of three years earlier. This rose further in 2012 when Labor-turned-independent MP Alison Anderson, with Mills' encouragement, joined the CLP. At the 2012 general election, the CLP won government on a foue-seat swing, primarily due to a large swing in remote Aboriginal areas which had historically supported Labor. Mills was sworn in as Chief Minister of the Northern Territory on 29 August 2012.

When Mills was in opposition in 2011, he stated his support for an audit of the Northern Territory finances, saying that "[an audit] will be the start of a new era of transparency in government expenditure."[3] However, after coming into power he changed his mind on the issue.

In February 2013, following a large swing to Labor in the Wanguri by-election, canvassing took place within the CLP to gauge support for a challenge to Mills from his Attorney-General, John Elferink. Lacking the support of key MLAs, Elferink ruled out a challenge and offered his resignation to Mills, which was declined.[4] In early March, Mills was unsuccessfully challenged by cabinet member Dave Tollner, who was sacked from Mills' cabinet after a six-and-a-half hour party meeting. A little over one week later, on 13 March 2013, Mills, who was overseas at the time, was ousted by Adam Giles in an 11-5 vote of his party's parliamentary caucus. Following the leadership change, Tollner was promoted from the back bench to Deputy Chief Minister.

Mills resigned from Parliament on 20 February 2014,[5] triggering the 2014 Blain by-election.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barker, Anne (30 January 2008). "Mills takes over NT Opposition leadership". The World Today (Australia: ABC Radio). Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mills replaces Carney as CLP leader". ABC News (Australia). 29 January 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2008. 
  3. ^ Statham, Laura (4 May 2011). "Call for audit of NT economy". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Attorney-General rules out challenging Mills as leader". ABC News (Australia). 19 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Smee, Ben (20 February 2014). "Terry Mills pulls pin in Parliament in a shock move". NT News. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Barry Coulter
Member of Parliament
for Blain

1999–2014
Succeeded by
Nathan Barrett
Political offices
Preceded by
Denis Burke
Leader of the Opposition of the Northern Territory
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Denis Burke
Preceded by
Jodeen Carney
Leader of the Opposition of the Northern Territory
2008–2012
Succeeded by
Delia Lawrie
Preceded by
Paul Henderson
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Adam Giles
Party political offices
Preceded by
Denis Burke
Leader of the Country Liberal Party
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Denis Burke
Preceded by
Jodeen Carney
Leader of the Country Liberal Party
2008–2013
Succeeded by
Adam Giles