A snag in the plan

There’s a snag in the plan. Who knew? ABC News reports:

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough has confirmed that the new Northern Territory intervention legislation will have to be amended.

He says under the legislation the Commonwealth will take over housing in 73 remote Indigenous communities. But he says the standard of houses in those communities breach health and safety requirements set out in the Northern Territory’s own Residential Tenancies Act.

He says the Commonwealth will now have to amend the legislation before they take over the houses, to avoid possible litigation.”

I guess they’ll just have to suspend the Residential Tenancies Act like they’re suspending the Racial Discrimination Act. I’m running a pool. Which set of legislated rights will be next to be voted off the island?

In other news, mattjin-nehen and Wamut report on two contrasting experiences with the arrival of survey teams on the ground. Yirrkala kicks out their survey team, telling them to come back with someone who has (a) a clue, and (b) some actual power. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission outlines what’s wrong with the NT “Emergency Response” legislation.

And in an impressive feat of rusty chainsaw-juggling, the government simultaneously denies that the rolling back of land rights is about rolling back land rights, explains that land rights is what’s wrong with Aboriginal people today because it’s all communist and stuff, and decides to start selling uranium mined on Aboriginal land to India.

Categories: culture wars, indigenous, Politics

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2 replies

  1. “Which set of legislated rights will be next to be voted off the island?”
    Well actually Brough has given them complete freedom without needing to go back to Parliament. From last night’s Hansard: Tuesday 14 August,
    Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (10.47 pm)””…. I would like to follow up on the question I asked earlier on what operations of Commonwealth laws the government envisages will be potentially excluded under regulation from applying to the lands that the Commonwealth controls. Let me give you a specific example. Would, for example, the Environment
    Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act be excluded?
    Senator SCULLION (Northern Territory””Minister
    for Community Services) (10.47 pm)””I understand
    that this is a general power and, as such, the consideration of what it would exclude or otherwise has not been considered. But at this stage it is not envisaged that it would say that the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act would be void. That is not a specific yes or no answer to your question, but that has
    certainly not been envisaged as part of the intent.
    Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (10.48
    pm)””To a certain extent, you have hit the nail on the
    head, Minister. Another area of concern for us is that it is general. It is not specific and it is left wide open for a number of pieces of legislation to be excluded. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is just one example that is causing concern in the community””and it is certainly causing concern for the Greens. So I ask why it is not specific. Why is it so wide open? What guarantee does the community have that the power will not be abused””maybe not by this minister but by a future minister? I am not casting aspersions on any particular minister; I am just saying that the provision is there and, because it is such an extraordinary power, it could be abused in the future.

  2. Holy crap. This is ugly, ugly ugly.
    Thanks so much for blogging this, Jane; I’ve learnt so much from your posts. Essential reading.

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