NLC disappointed with passing of ‘Stronger Futures’ legislation
Northern Land Council (NLC) Chief Executive Mr Kim Hill has expressed disappointment that the “Stronger Futures” Bill passed through the Senate unamended overnight. Mr Hill said the NLC, together with other member bodies of the Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APO NT), still had a number of concerns with elements of the legislation which will be implemented in the Territory’s remote communities following the end of the so-called “intervention” in August this year and will remain in place for the next 10 years.
“There is certainly a level of frustration with the consultation process in the lead up to the formation of this legislation,” Mr Hill said.
“Meeting with Aboriginal peoples and then doing all the talking isn’t consultation – we feel there needed to be a lot more listening.
“Consistent messages were fed back to Government, but they seem to have been ignored.”
Mr Hill said key areas of concern included income management and issues surrounding customary law and its place in the judicial system, while the package as a whole did nothing to empower Aboriginal peoples.
Mr Hill did, however, acknowledge the funding commitment from the Commonwealth which will help improve police and night patrol services in remote areas, among other things.
$3.4bn over ten years has been committed to Stronger Futures.
The Northern Land Council, together with APO NT, will now work with the Australian Government on the practical implementation of the legislation.
For a PDF version of the media release, click here.