Australia news live updates: fallout from Morrison ministries; vote in former NT chief minister’s seat

A bit more on that byelection in the Northern Territory, via AAP:

A by-election will decide which of six candidates wins the prized Northern Territory parliamentary seat of Fannie Bay.

Saturday’s poll will provide a successor for Michael Gunner, who vacated the Darwin seat after also stepping down as the Territory’s chief minister.

Labor’s Brent Potter has drawn the top spot on the ballot paper, with his main rival, Ben Hosking from the Country Liberal Party, in the sixth spot.

Potter is an army veteran and father of four who has most recently worked as a government adviser.

Hosking owns a small business and is a former police officer.

Three independents – George Mamouzellos, Raj Samson Rajwin, and Leah Potter – are also contesting the poll, along with Greens candidate Jonathan Parry.

About 5,400 people are enrolled to vote in Fannie Bay, with some of those choosing to vote early or cast a postal ballot.

The past three Fannie bay MPs have served as the NT’s chief minister: Gunner, Marshall Perron, and Clare Martin.

Good morning

The fallout from former prime minister Scott Morrison’s decision to appoint himself to five additional ministerial portfolios continues. Malcolm Farr writes on our front page this morning that Morrison’s explanation for his actions at that lengthy Wednesday press conference show the accumulation of new jobs “wasn’t about greater government efficiency. It was about Scott Morrison getting more power”.

The politician who last month told a Perth audience he and acquaintances “don’t trust in governments” has been a stark example of why trust has disappeared.

Even one of his staunchest supporters, the Australian’s Paul Kelly, writes this morning that Morrison’s actions caused “palpable” damage to the Liberal party.

Kelly writes:

The Liberals are supposed to be the party of principled government and respect for institutions. But Morrison embarked on an untenable and deceptive accumulation of power. Can you imagine Robert Menzies secretly commissioning himself into five extra portfolios without telling most of the ministers?

Meanwhile, voters in the Northern Territory electorate of Fannie Bay will go to the polls in a byelection to fill the seat vacated by former chief minister Michael Gunner, who resigned from parliament and the top job in May.

The Labor candidate, Brent Porter, has drawn top spot on the ballot paper, with his main rival, the Country Liberal party’s Ben Hosking, in sixth. It’s an important seat – the past three Fannie Bay MPs have all served as the NT’s chief minister. We’ll bring you the updates as the day unfolds.

Let’s crack on. If we miss something, you can reach me at @callapilla on twitter or at

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