Article – NT opposition reshuffles shadow cabinet

23 October 2013
The Australian

THE Northern Territory’s Labor opposition has announced changes to its shadow cabinet, but continues to resist rumours of shaky leadership.

“Now is the right time for Labor to refresh our focus and ensure all Shadow Cabinet expand their relationships with new and enhanced responsibilities,” Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Opposition team has delivered a disciplined and relentless pursuit of the government as they have recklessly and shamelessly broken election promises, sacked workers, dumped chief ministers and endlessly shuffled their Cabinet and the public service.”
She has given herself the shadow portfolio of Business, Employment and Training, along with two new portfolios of Northern Australia Development and Central Australia.
She said she handed over the shadow Treasury portfolio to her deputy Gerry McCarthy to give someone else a go after her five years as Treasurer while in government.
Michael Gunner, who has been rumoured to be counting his numbers to mount a leadership challenge, is now Opposition Whip and holds the portfolios of Attorney General & Justice and Corrections, losing the portfolios of Government Accountability to Ken Vowles, and Education and Training to Natasha Fyles, a former teacher.
Ms Lawrie denied the reshuffle was an attempt to downgrade Mr Gunner following a recent rumoured leadership challenge.
“Not at all,” she told reporters in Darwin.
“If you have a look at Michael Gunner’s portfolios, they are incredibly important – he has the law and order continuum.”
Lynne Walker has picked up the shadow portfolio of Community Services to counterbalance Minister Bess Price, who recently moved into the role.
Ms Lawrie said having members who could work across multiple portfolios was an asset.
“The workload in Opposition is always challenging, but as can be seen from the past 14 months, the Labor team has proven they are more than up to the challenge,” she said.
“I am very confident that this reshuffle will strategically strengthen our efforts to keep the spotlight on the government, maintain and grow our relationships with all stakeholders and keep putting Territorians at the forefront of our endeavours.”
She said making the changes now would allow her MPs to be well settled into their portfolios by the last sittings of the year, which begin the last week of November.
Courtesy of the Australian