Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner steps down

Michael Gunner, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, has today revealed his plans to step down from the top job in the Top End.

Gunner, who has served as Chief Minister since 2016, cited the birth of his second child Nash as the reason for the big change.

“My head and my heart are no longer here, they are at home,” Gunner said in his budget speech in parliament this week.

“I have grappled with this decision for some weeks and welcoming little Nash into the world sealed the deal.”

Under Gunner’s leadership, the Northern Territory amended legislation to allow same-gender couples to adopt, picked up Safe Schools funding after it was scrapped at a federal level, and updated laws to allow gender affirmation without divorce – in line with requirements after the passage of marriage equality into law.

Gunner also delivered an apology to the territory’s LGBTQIA+ community in 2018, alongside a bill that would expunge records of historical homosexual convictions under past discriminatory laws.

Now that the budget has been delivered, Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison will take over as Acting Chief Minister until a new leader is appointed by NT Labor.

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