Ian Tuxworth

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Ian Tuxworth
Profile photo of Ian Tuxworth
Tuxworth in 1984
2nd Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
In office
17 October 1984 – 10 May 1986
DeputyNick Dondas
Preceded byPaul Everingham
Succeeded byStephen Hatton
Personal details
Ian Lindsay Tuxworth

18 June 1942
Wollongong, New South Wales
Died21 January 2020(2020-01-21) (aged 77)
Perth, Western Australia
Political partyNT Nationals
Other political
Country Liberal Party
CabinetTuxworth Ministry

Ian Lindsay Tuxworth (18 June 1942 – 21 January 2020) was an Australian politician, who was Chief Minister of the Northern Territory of Australia from 17 October 1984 until his resignation on 10 May 1986.[1]

Early life[edit]

Tuxworth was born on 18 June 1942 in Wollongong, New South Wales, to Lindsay and historian Hilda Elsie Tuxworth, and moved with his family to Tennant Creek in 1951.[2] He was educated at Tennant Creek Primary School, and Rostrevor College in Adelaide.

Before entering politics, Tuxworth, also known affectionately as "Slim", with his father and brother Robert (Bob), started a soft drink factory in Tennant Creek called Crystal Waters, which was later sold to the Coca-Cola Company. Tuxworth also played baseball and was a member of the 1975 North Australian Kiewaldt team.[3]

Member of the Legislative Assembly[edit]

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
Years Term Electoral division Party
1974–1977 1st Barkly Country Liberal
1977–1980 2nd Barkly Country Liberal
1980–1983 3rd Barkly Country Liberal
1983–1986 4th Barkly Country Liberal
1986–1987 Changed allegiance to: Nationals
1987–1987 5th Barkly Nationals
1987–1990 5th Barkly Nationals

Tuxworth was elected as the Country Liberal Party (CLP) member for the electoral division of Barkly (which included Tennant Creek), in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly at its inaugural election in 1974. As the representative for Barkly, Tuxworth was instrumental in facilitating the government support for the construction of the Mary Ann Dam north of the town of Tennant Creek.[4]

Following the resignation of Paul Everingham, Tuxworth was elected Chief Minister on 17 October 1984. In 1985, he opposed the federal government's move to transfer ownership of Uluru to its traditional owners, the Aṉangu people, however 30 years later he acknowledged the handback had been a success.[5] He resigned as Chief Minister and from the CLP on 10 May 1986 to form the NT Nationals party[1] At the 1987 election Tuxworth was elected as the NT Nationals member for Barkly by 19 votes. His victory was annulled by the Court of Disputed Returns after a successful challenge from losing independent candidate Maggie Hickey. On 5 September 1987, he won a by-election, again defeating Hickey, who was now representing the Labor Party (ALP).[6] After a redistribution turned Barkly into a nominally Labor-held seat, Tuxworth stood unsuccessfully for the seat of Goyder at the 1990 election.[7]

Tuxworth became the first CLP leader who did not lead the party to an election.

After politics[edit]

Following his defeat, Tuxworth moved to Perth, Western Australia, where he died on 21 January 2020, aged 77. He was survived by his wife Ruth, children Sonia, Guy and Gemma, and eight grandchildren.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Premiers Past". ABC Radio National. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  2. ^ "New NT Chief Minister denies wowser image – The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) – 18 Oct 1984". Trove. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Gosling, Luke. "Statements by Members: Tuxworth, Hon. Ian". Open Australia. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  5. ^ Dunlevie, James; Ellen, Rosa (26 October 2015). "Opponent of Uluru handback changes tune 30 years on". ABC News.
  6. ^ Antony Green (14 August 2008). "Barkly". 2008 Northern Territory Election. ABC News. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  7. ^ Alex Nelson (6 April 2005). "What Future for Braitling After the Next Election?". Alice Springs News. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  8. ^ "Ian Tuxworth, the Northern Territory's second chief minister, dies aged 77". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
New assembly Member for Barkly
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Leader of the Country Liberal Party
Succeeded by