Catholics In Coalition for Justice and Peace

Opposing the 'Stronger Futures' Legislation

Latest News: On 29 June 2012, the 'Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2012' was passed by the Senate, after having being passed by the House of Representatives in February.

Background:

Many Aboriginal and human rights groups have condemned the legislation as it will undermine the human rights of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory for the next 10 years.

The “Stronger Futures” legislation will maintain many parts of the Northern Territory Intervention; a policy that has attracted United Nations condemnation for its racial discrimination against Aboriginal people and their cultures.

The legislation increases punitive measures for alcohol possession, expand a failed program that quarantines welfare payments based on school attendance, grants Commonwealth control over regulations of townships and camps, prohibits the consideration of customary law and cultural practice in any bail or sentencing decisions, and more.

On 20 June 2012, the Parliamentary Joint Committee On Human Rights wrote to Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin seeking a statement on the compatibility of the bills with Australia's human rights obligations. No statement was issued.

Thank you to all CCJP members and supporters who spoke out against the proposed legislation by signing Stand for Freedom's petition or the petition on Avaaz, or joined the National Congress of First People's email campaign. The Stand for Freedom petition, containing 42,000 signatures, was presented to Parliament on 18 June 2012.

More information

See Stand For Freedom's website

Read this analysis of the NT Intervention and the 'Stronger Futures' legislation by SBS

Read Amnesty International's statement on the passing of the legislation