The Australian Greens will today vote ‘No’ if the Government brings on the Strong Futures Legislation in the Senate to extend and expand the NT Intervention.
“If the Government and Coalition continue to support the Intervention, the Greens will then propose a range of amendments to the flawed legislation,” Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues said today.
“People in the NT are facing the prospect of 10 more years of the intervention.
“The Greens have taken a strong and consistent stance against the Intervention since it was introduced under the Howard Government. Since then, the ALP Government has continued it and is now expanding it.
“We strongly oppose this legislation, but I am not going to sit back and watch the Government and Coalition rush this through the Senate without trying to limit the harm it will cause.
“The Greens amendments address some of the most significant areas of concern.
“I am calling on the Coalition to support our amendment to reduce the legislation's duration from ten years to five years, with a review of the Intervention after three.
“Proper scrutiny of the Intervention is necessary and our amendments deliver this. Ten years is far too long to impose this regime on individuals and communities.
“My amendments also address alcohol management plans and will increase the onus on the Minister to ensure consultation around Intervention measures is conducted in a timely and effective manner, with appropriate resources and language support given to the consultation process.
“A consistent criticism of the Intervention has been the lack of adequate consultation that has led to policies being forced on communities in the absence of understanding or cooperation.
“As a result the intervention is failing to deliver on its supposedly key outcomes of reducing poverty and improving life expectancy.
“We have seen significant waste on ineffective measures, when far better outcomes could have been delivered through direct investment in communities and organisations on the ground.
“I implore the Government and Coalition to listen to the range of communities and individuals speaking out against the Intervention. The time has come for a new approach," Senator Siewert concluded.