Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues says she is saddened by the fact it has taken the Government so long to acknowledge the failings of the Northern Territory Intervention.
“There are still massive problems in the Northern Territory,” Senator Siewert said today. “A number of key indicators point to the same thing – this discriminatory intervention is a failed approach and it should be thrown out.”
“The time is right for the Government to seriously reassess all aspects of the NT Intervention,” said Senator Siewert.
“I am encouraged by moves towards a consultative and collaborative approach, but with only a 6 week consultation period I’m not convinced that the Government understands what this entails.
“The poor design and implementation of the NTER has led to four years of waste and discrimination. $1.5 billion has been spent, but there has been a distinct lack of progress on issues around alcohol related harm, rates of incarceration, improving poor education outcomes, improving life expectancy and employment outcomes. There is clearly need for a new approach to address these major issues.
“Once this consultation is completed, the Government must act to deliver meaningful outcomes, not revert to past policy mistakes.
“Income management is a highly criticised aspect of the Intervention which the Government if serious about a new approach needs to throw out. People are constantly telling me that income management has a negative impact.
“The Greens welcome the release of the discussion paper but remain acutely aware of the fact that meaningful actions must follow the consultation,” Senator Siewert concluded.