John Elferink


John Elferink

Johan Wessel (John) Elferink is an Australian politician.

He was a Country Liberal Party member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 1997 to 2005, representing the rural electorate of MacDonnell. He served in the Shadow Ministry under Opposition Leaders Terry Mills and Denis Burke, but was swept away in the ALP's landslide victory at the 2005 election.

Elferink was born in The Netherlands, but moved to Australia in 1969 as a teenager. His family settled in Darwin, and he subsequently graduated from Casuarina High School. In 1983, Elferink joined the Northern Territory Police as a cadet. He subsequently rose to the rank of Senior Sergeant, and served in both Darwin and Alice Springs. While in the police force, he embarked on a correspondence degree through Monash University, and ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Arts at the end of 1997.

Elferink became an increasingly prominent member of the shadow ministry during his first two years in a portfolio. However, by early 2003, Elferink became increasingly frustrated with the leadership of Opposition Leader Denis Burke, who was struggling to maintain his grip on the party at the time. In June 2003, Elferink resigned as Shadow Minister for Local Government and Indigenous Affairs [http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/nt/content/2003/s886271.htm] and publicly slammed Burke's leadership, labelling him "arrogant" and calling for him to be replaced by rival Terry Mills.

He later returned to the shadow ministry in September, taking on the portfolio of Police, Fire and Emergency Services.

By late 2004, Elferink was once again becoming a key member of the parliamentary party, and this was reflected when, on October 12, he was made Opposition Whip. Elferink was subsequently rewarded for this support, being made Leader of Opposition Business and Shadow Minister for Community Development, Housing, Local Government, Sport and Recreation, Regional Development and Indigenous Affairs, while maintaining the position of Whip. Elferink stood for re-election for the seat of Macdonnell at the 2005 election, Elferink suffered a huge swing against him and lost his seat.

Elferink later served as party director for the Country Liberal Party.

Elferink contested the seat of Port Darwin at the 9 August 2008 Legislative Assembly general election [http://www.countryliberals.org.au/content.php?id=35] , and defeated Australian Labor Party incumbent Kerry Sacilotto [http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2008/08/10/5085_ntelection08.html] .

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