Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are the traditional
custodians of Australia. Since its beginning, CCL has fought
hard for the rights of the indigenous peoples of NSW and Australia.
SENATE INQUIRY INTO THE nORTHERN TERRITORY NATIONAL EMERGENCY
RESPONSE BILL 2007 & RELATED BILLS
On 9 August 2007, the Senate referred to the Standing Committee
on Legal and Constitutional Affairs five bills comprising the
legislative package for the Australian Government's response
to the 'national emergency' relating to the welfare of Indigenous
children in the Northern Territory. The committee held a public
hearing in Canberra on Friday, 10 August 2007 and is required
to report on Monday, 13 August 2007.
The lack of time given for proper consideration of this important
legislation suggests that there will be many aspects of it which
turn out to have detrimental consequences, but will escape criticism
at this stage.
CCL lodged a submission to the inquiry. You can read that submission
Some of the major concerns addressed in the submission are:
- The suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act
- The suspension of the permit system
- The creation of a number of new criminal offences with the
potential to dramatically increase the rate of imprisonment
of Indigenous Australians
- The suspension of Native Title with non-cash compensation
in a manner which may lead to permanent extinguishment
federal government's 'emergency response' to the 'little children
are sacred' report
CCL recognises that there are complex issues involved in the
proposed federal government direct intervention in indigenous
communities. However, there are rights involved in the issues,
which should be respected.
These include the rights of children to protection from those
who seek to exploit them, their rights to care and education,
the rights of children and their parents to informed consent
to medical examination, the rights of Aboriginal nations over
their land, and the right of all persons to be consulted concerning
decisions which affect their interests.
Rights should not simply be overruled and ignored in the interest
of protecting other rights; but a solution sought which respects
all of them to the greatest extent possible.
CCL joined over 50 individuals and organisations in a letter
to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs on 26 June 2007. You
can read that letter here.
REPORT BY THE COMBINED ABORIGINAL ORGANISATIONS northern territory
The elected committee of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties
has read the Combined Aboriginal Organisations NT 'Preliminary
Response to the Federal Government's Interventions to Address
child Abuse in the Northern Territory'. It is a detailed, considered
response to the complex issues involved and offers an examination
of each government proposal. This is followed up with proposed
actions which respect the rights of the Indigenous community
whilst addressing the serious problems.
You can read
the report by the Combined Aboriginal Organisations NT here
and view the accompanying
snapshot of the Northern Territory here.