Dave Tollner

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Dave Tollner
Deputy Chief Minister
of the Northern Territory
In office
13 March 2013 – 22 August 2014
Preceded by Willem Westra van Holthe
Succeeded by Peter Chandler
Member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
for Fong Lim
In office
9 August 2008 – 8 August 2016
Preceded by New division
Succeeded by Jeff Collins
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Solomon
In office
10 November 2001 – 24 November 2007
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by Damian Hale
Personal details
Born (1966-01-31) 31 January 1966 (age 51)
Biloela, Queensland
Political party Country Liberal Party
Occupation Manager
Website davidtollner.com

David William Tollner (born 31 January 1966) is an Australian politician. He was the Country Liberal Party member for Solomon in the Australian House of Representatives from 2001 to 2007, and then served in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly as the member for Fong Lim from 2008 to 2016. He was the Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory under chief minister Adam Giles from 2013 to 2014.

Tollner was born in Biloela, Queensland, and worked as a manager and company director before entering politics. He contested the 1997 territory election as an independent, narrowly losing to CLP candidate Chris Lugg in the seat of Nelson. He subsequently won the new federal seat of Solomon for the CLP at the 2001 federal election, and was re-elected at the 2004 election. He was narrowly defeated by Labor candidate Damian Hale at the 2007 election.[1]

Tollner then contested the 2008 territory election, winning the new seat of Fong Lim and defeating Labor minister Matthew Bonson.[2] He was re-elected at the 2012 election, and upon the CLP's victory was appointed Minister for Health, Minister for Alcohol Rehabilitation and Policy, and Minister for Housing.[3] In March 2013, Mills expelled Tollner from his cabinet after a heated disagreement between the two at a party meeting. According to former MLA Daryl Manzie, Tollner swore at Mills and threw a stack of cabinet papers at him before walking out of the room.[4]

Tollner was appointed deputy chief minister of the Northern Territory on 13 March 2013. He caused controversy in August 2014 when he referred to the gay son of fellow CLP MP Gary Higgins as a "pillow biter" and "shirt lifter".[5][6] As a result, it was announced that Tollner's resignation as deputy leader of the CLP had been accepted.[7] Despite that, Tollner said a few days later that he wanted to be restored to his former position or he would quit the party, leaving it in a precarious position on the floor of the Legislative Assembly.[8] On 1 September, Chief Minister Adam Giles threw open the leadership and deputy leadership to a party room ballot. Giles was re-elected as CLP leader, and Peter Chandler was voted in as his deputy.[9]

A redistribution ahead of the 2016 election all but erased Tollner's majority in Fong Lim, slashing it from a fairly safe 7.3 percent to an extremely marginal 0.2 percent. Tollner tried to transfer to the newly created seat of Spillett, which had absorbed much of the eastern portion of Fong Lim. However, he lost a November 2015 preselection battle to Lia Finocchiaro, the member for neighbouring Drysdale. His senior advisor, Tim Dixon, was pre-selected for Fong Lim,[10][11] but lost the seat to Labor.


  1. ^ "Labor wins Solomon". ABC. 11 December 2007. 
  2. ^ "2008 Northern Territory Election: Fong Lim". ABC. 
  3. ^ Betts, Alyssa (4 September 2012). "Shock cabinet: from DUI to Health Minister". Northern Territory News. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  4. ^ La Canna, Xavier (7 March 2013). "Infighting, insults plague NT government". The Australian. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  5. ^ [1] NT Deputy Chief Minister Dave Tollner keeps job despite gay slurs against son of colleague: ABC 20 August 2014
  6. ^ [2] CLP turmoil after Tollner’s homophobic rant at staffer: The Advertiser 20 August 2014
  7. ^ Walsh, Christopher (21 August 2014). "Dave Tollner resigned as NT's deputy chief minister and sent to backbench". NT News. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Walsh, Christopher (27 August 2014). "Tollner wants job back or he'll leave CLP with thinner margin". NT News. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Peter Chandler takes reins as NT's Deputy Chief Minister as Dave Tollner's future remains in doubt". 105.7 ABC Darwin. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Walsh, Christopher (28 November 2015). "NT Treasurer won't be on the ticket for the Country Liberal Party at the next Territory election". Northern Territory News. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Gregory, Katherine (29 November 2015). "Dave Tollner fails to win pre-selection for NT seat of Spillett, will not contest election". ABC News. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Solomon
Succeeded by
Damian Hale
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
New division Member for Fong Lim
Succeeded by
Jeff Collins
Political offices
Preceded by
Willem Westra van Holthe
Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Succeeded by
Peter Chandler