Gary Higgins

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Gary Higgins
MLA
Leader of the Country Liberal Party
Assumed office
2 September 2016
Deputy Lia Finocchiaro
Preceded by Adam Giles
Member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
for Daly
Assumed office
25 August 2012
Preceded by Rob Knight
Personal details
Born Gary John Higgins
(1954-05-26) 26 May 1954 (age 63)
Griffith, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Country Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Rhonda Higgins
Occupation Mango farmer, public servant

Gary John Higgins (born 26 May 1954) is an Australian politician. A member of the Country Liberal Party, he was elected to represent the seat of Daly in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly at the 2012 election. Since the 2016 election, he has been the leader of the CLP and Leader of the Opposition.

Early life[edit]

Higgins moved to the Northern Territory in 1986, and was employed in the Territory public service, where he became Director of Corporate Services at the Attorney-General's office.[1] After leaving the public service, he bought the Daly River Mango Farm, a mango orchard and tourist park on the Daly River.[2]

Parliament[edit]

He joined the Giles Ministry in February 2015, becoming Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Senior Territorians, Minister for the Environment, and Minister assisting the Minister for Arts and Museums.

CLP leadership[edit]

The CLP was defeated in a landslide at the 2016 election. Higgins was one of only two CLP candidates to be elected, and the only surviving member of the previous cabinet. Even before it was confirmed that former Chief Minister Adam Giles had lost his own seat, it was announced on 2 September 2016 that Higgins would succeed him as CLP leader, and hence Opposition Leader. The only other CLP member in the legislature, Lia Finocchiaro, became his deputy.[3]

Higgins faced the task of rebuilding a party that had just suffered one of the worst defeats of a sitting government at the state or territory level in Australia. Although the CLP had fewer members than the independents, the CLP was recognised as the Official Opposition after the Solicitor-General advised that the five independents could not realistically form an alternative government. Although the CLP was well short of the numbers for official status in the chamber, the new Labor government of Michael Gunner promised that the CLP would be properly resourced as an opposition.[4]

As they were the only opposition members of the legislature, Higgins and Finocchiaro divided all shadow portfolios between them. Currently, Higgins serves as Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Housing and Community Development, Tourism and Culture, Environment and Natural Resources, Public Employment, Corporate and Information Services, Primary Industry and Resources and Northern Australia.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Northern Territory Votes: Daly (Key Seat), Australian Broadcasting Commission, 25 August 2012, archived from the original on 9 October 2013 
  2. ^ "Top End residents brace for flooding, winds". ABC News. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Gary Higgins becomes Country Liberals' new leader, Lia Finnochiaro his deputy". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Oaten, James (2016-08-30). "Independents won't be recognised as opposition in NT: official advice". ABC News (Australia). 
  5. ^ Shadow Ministry for 13th Legislative Assembly
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Rob Knight
Member for Daly
2012–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Gunner
Leader of the Opposition in the Northern Territory
2016–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Adam Giles
Leader of the Country Liberal Party
2016–present
Incumbent