Larisa Lee

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Larisa Lee
Member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
for Arnhem
In office
25 August 2012 – 27 August 2016
Preceded by Malarndirri McCarthy
Succeeded by Selena Uibo
Personal details
Born Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Independent (2014–present)
Other political
affiliations
Country Liberal (2012–2014)
Palmer United (2014)
Residence Barunga, Northern Territory
Occupation Health worker

Larisa Antonia Lillian Lee is an Australian politician. She was elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly as the Country Liberal member for Arnhem at the 2012 territory election. She left the CLP on 4 April 2014, sat as independent until 27 April, when she joined the Palmer United Party, resigned from that party on 29 November, and sat as an independent until her defeat at the 2016 election.

Early life[edit]

Lee was born in Katherine, approximately 320 kilometres (200 mi) south-east of Darwin, the Northern Territory's capital, and was raised in the Barunga community. She is the daughter of Jawoyn leader (Bangardi) Robert Lee.[1]

Parliament[edit]

Several months after her election, Lee was accused by staff members of the Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation (JAAC) of misusing the corporation's emergency fund—put aside to assist Aboriginal people living in poverty—to pay for her election campaign expenses.[2] On 4 February 2013, Lee submitted an amended Candidate Election Return to the Northern Territory Electoral Commission, declaring an additional $23,000 in donations, including $16,000 from the JAAC, in addition to the single $500 donation on her original declaration. She denied the staff members' accusations, saying that the corporation had donated money to her campaign with the full support of the board.[3]

As of July 2013, Lee was under investigation for alleged misuse of her Government provided Fuel Card.[4] On 14 October 2013, the ABC TV program Four Corners broadcast an investigative story concerning the alleged use of money from the Jawoyn Association, including Lee's use for her election campaign.[5] On 25 April 2014, Lee was charged with aggravated assault and "disorderly behaviour in a public place" following an altercation with an 18-year-old woman outside a Centrelink in Katherine.[6] The maximum sentence for the former charge is five years; she would have automatically lost her seat had she been sentenced to any term longer than one year.[7] On 24 June, Lee pleaded guilty to the charge of common assault on the woman—her niece—for having an affair with her husband.[8]

On 5 April 2014, Lee and two other indigenous MPs, Alison Anderson and Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu, resigned from the CLP, slipping their resignation letters under the door of the CLP office in Darwin. According to The Australian, they were laying the groundwork for a new party to speak for regional interests.[9] However, later that month, on 27 April 2014, the three MPs joined Palmer United, with Anderson becoming parliamentary leader.[10][11]

However, this did not last, and Lee and Anderson became independents once again later in 2014. Lee was defeated by Labor's Selena Uibo in Arnhem at the 2016 election. She tallied only 117 votes or 4.0 percent, finishing in fifth and last place.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Green, Antony: Arnhem, NT Votes 2012 (ABC).
  2. ^ Schubert, Steven (1 February 2013). "Territory MP accused of improper use of Indigenous money". ABC News. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Coggan, Michael (15 February 2013). "Lee faces scrutiny over poll campaign support". ABC News. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Davies, Lorraine (17 July 2013). "Call for MLA to be stood down in fuel card furore". ABC News. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Matt Carney and Karen Michelmore: No Accounting, Four Corners, ABC, 14 October 2013.
  6. ^ Clayton Bennett (25 April 2014). "Rogue MLA Larisa Lee charged over fight outside Katherine Centrelink"NT News. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  7. ^ Ben Smee (27 April 2014). "Larisa Lee at risk of losing seat if convicted of aggravated assault"NT News. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Larisa Lee: NT Palmer Party MLA pleads guilty to assault over husband's affair". ABC News. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Rebel MPs quit Northern Territory government". The Australian. 2014-04-05. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  10. ^ AAP (27 April 2014). "Clive Palmer says rebel NT indigenous MPs to defect to PUP"The Australian. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  11. ^ Matthew Knott and Gareth Hutchens (27 April 2014). "Clive Palmer aims for NT balance of power"The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Electorate: Arnhem". NT Votes 2016. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Malarndirri McCarthy
Member for Arnhem
2012–2016
Succeeded by
Selena Uibo