The past two years have seen significant changes in the nation’s lineup of Premiers and Chief Ministers – only two of whom began their terms prior to 2022.

With three of the nation’s nine state and territory jurisdictions heading to an election in the next 12 months, the Nexus APAC team this week has examined the priorities of each. Highlighting the policy items of importance for different parts of the nation, as well as the challenges they’re facing.

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, the Hon Natasha Fyles MLA

Party: Australian Labor Party (ALP).

Term started: 13 May 2022.

Next general election: 24 August 2024.

Top priorities: Safety of communities, Resources, Justice system, Health.

On October 31, Chief Minister Fyles announced a Cabinet reshuffle, appearing to hit the political reset button ahead of next year’s election. She said that the new cabinet reflected a team “renewed, refreshed and ready to work even harder for the Territory”.

The Fyles Government is undertaking a range of activities to reduce alcohol and crime-related harm within the Territory. However, calls remain for greater funding for remote schools and healthcare, as well as police force reform. With 96.7% of the NT Police Association, the police force’s union in the Northern Territory, said they did not feel supported by the NT government.

The development of the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct (sustainable precinct with a focus on low emission, renewable hydrogen, carbon capture storage and minerals processing) has also attracted criticism. Chief Minister Fyles has repeatedly said on-shore fracking in the NT would be subject to strict regulation and that Middle Arm represented an opportunity to help transition between fossil fuels and renewables.

Premier of Queensland, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP

Party: Australian Labor Party (ALP).

Term started: 14 February 2015.

Next election: 26 October 2024.

Top priorities: Housing, access to healthcare, safe communities.

Premier Palaszczuk is current Australia’s longest-serving premier, and one of two remaining COVID-era leaders (along with ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr). In Last 2024, she will likely run for a fourth term in Government.

A year out from the polls, Premier Palaszczuk is trailing Liberal National Party Leader the Hon Chris Crisafulli MP in the polls on two-party preferred, as well as preferred Premier.

Premier Palaszczuk has already made numerous election commitments, including continuing cost-of-living rebates, opposing the privatisation of electricity assets, and carrying out the Queensland energy and jobs plan.

Pressure is also mounting to act further amid the state’s youth crime crisis. In March, tougher laws for young offenders were introduced by the Palaszczuk government, such as allowing children who breach bail to be charged with the same criminal offence as an adult, and the expansion of a GPS electronic program for children as young as 15. The government also committed an additional $9 million of funding to assist victims of crime.

There will be another Queensland budget handed down in June 2024, before voters head to the polls.

Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, the Hon Andrew Barr MLA

Party: Australian Labor Party (ALP).

Term started: 11 December 2014.

Next general election: On or before 19 October 2024.

Top priorities: Cost of living, debt, social reform.

In 2024 Chief Minister Barr will seek a seventh consecutive term of an ACT Labor-led Government. Since 2012, Labor has governed in partnership with the Greens. With the parties signing a power-sharing agreement aimed at the delivery of “the most progressive and reformist administration in Australia”.

Canberra remains the country’s most expensive capital city to rent in, and a recent report found the ACT had the highest rate of long-term homelessness in Australia. With the ACT’s population expected to reach 500,000 this decade, and the more immediate prospect of a recession, the cost of living will be a focus at next year’s ACT election.

Chief Minister Barr will likely point to infrastructure development and a wide raft of progressive legislation passed in this term as a reason for re-election. Conversely, Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee MLA will call for the government to stop the light rail to Woden and instead establish a cost-of-living committee. Additional items of importance for the next election include voluntary assisted dying, drug decriminalisation, and the compulsory acquisition of Calvary Private Hospital.

With the rising pressure on these state and territory leaders to support Australian through the current cost of living crisis they will all be turning to the ALP Federal colleagues for assisting as polling day nears.

Watch out for Priorities of the Premiers 2 in the coming weeks. In this insights article the Nexus APAC team reviews priorities of the newly elected and appointment Premiers of SA, TAS, VIC, WA and NSW.

Did You Know?

New Zealand Government Announced! 

The New Zealand National Party, led by Prime Minister-elect Mr Christopher Luxon MP will form a government with ACT New Zealand and New Zealand First (NZF). The three-party coalition government is the first in New Zealand’s MMP history.

NZF leader RT Hon Winston Peters PC MP will be Deputy Prime Minister for the first half of the three-year parliamentary term, with ACT leader Mr David Seymour MP taking over for the second half of the term.

The Cabinet will have 14 National Ministers, 3 ACT Ministers and 3 NZF Ministers.