Report on the Northern Territory Emergency Response Redesign Consultations


From May to September 2009, the Australian Government conducted extensive consultations with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory about future directions for the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER). In its response to the report of the NTER Review Board, the Government said that it would introduce legislation into the Parliament in late 2009 to bring existing NTER legislation within the scope of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA). On 21 May 2009, as a starting point for discussion through the engagement process, the Government released a discussion paper titled ‘Future directions for the Northern Territory Emergency Response’, setting out proposals to redesign the following NTER measures: income management; alcohol restrictions; pornography restrictions; five-year leases; community store licensing; controls on use of publicly funded computers; law enforcement powers; and business management areas powers. The engagement process was delivered through a comprehensive four-tiered consultation approach. The consultations involved people in all 73 NTER communities as well as several other Northern Territory Aboriginal communities and town camps. This report provides an introduction and background to the NTER redesign engagement process. It then presents for each of the measures a summary of the key themes and messages expressed by participants across the four tiers of consultation. Extracts from feedback reports are provided to illustrate the comments made at the consultation meetings. The appendices provide details of the engagement process, including the questions relating to each measure that were used as the basis for discussions, and the locations and numbers of consultation meetings.

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2009 ISBN: 978-1-921647-17-8 This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth, available from the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney-Generals Department. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney-Generals Department, Central Office, 3_5 National Circuit, Canberra ACT 2600 or posted at