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NT Chief Minister takes over as treasurer

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner has taken on the role of treasurer as part of a new-look cabinet, saying he wants to spearhead the Top End’s coronavirus recovery.

Voters returned Labor for a second term at the late August poll but only seven of nine previous cabinet minister were re-elected.

Mr Gunner revealed on Monday he would take over as treasurer from deputy Nicole Manison in a “jobs-focused” ministry.

“One of the biggest challenges for the territory is how we step out of coronavirus,” Mr Gunner told reporters.

“I want to take on that challenge myself.”

He said Ms Manison would hold portfolios including mining, defence industries, agribusiness and aquaculture, and international eduction.

One of two fresh cabinet faces, experienced backbencher Kate Worden has been given the newly combined portfolio of territory families and urban housing, as well as sport, disability and multicultural affairs.

Chancey Paech, who represents the huge central bush seat of Gwoja, will take on ministries including indigenous essential services and remote housing and town camps.

The new nine-person cabinet will be officially sworn in on Tuesday ahead of its first meeting.

Mr Gunner said the number of government agencies had been reduced from 15 to 11, saving the territory $5 million.

Labor holds a two-seat majority in the 25-seat parliament after an election where the Country Liberal Party quadrupled their number of seats from two to eight.

The result was officially declared on Monday morning.

Two cabinet vacancies had been created by the retirement of Housing Minister Gerry McCarthy, and with Territory Families and Energy Minister Dale Wakefield losing her seat.

Mr Gunner said Labor has nominated Ngaree Ah Kit to fill the Speaker role vacated by Mr Paech.

NORTHERN TERRITORY PARLIAMENT (25 SEATS)

* Labor: 14

* Country Liberal Party: eight

* Independents: two

* Territory Alliance: one

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