24 March 2012
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) is very concerned that the bill has been developed without the free, prior and informed consent of Aboriginal communities, and that it will give the Government 10 more years of control.
Aboriginal Elders, community leaders and Aboriginal organisations across the Northern Territory have opposed the legislation, and are demanding the right to control their own futures. Years of this top-down policy-making by the Government have taken power away from communities and have overseen increasing poverty and social breakdown.
The Committee itself has recognised that the Government consultation process was flawed, noting with serious concern the degree of confusion, and frustration expressed in relation to the Stronger Futures consultations.
It has registered serious concerns about the proposed alcohol penalties and recommended the use of infringement notices, and has joined ANTaR in expressing reservations about the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM).
However whilst the Committee has presented concrete recommendations for improving future consultations, and whilst amendments proposed by the Committee will improve the package of measures, according to ANTaR they do not go far enough.
A petition urging the withdrawal of the proposed legislation is available on the ANTaR website.