Prime Minister Julia Gillard releasing the discussion paper Stronger Futures. (AAP IMAGE/ALAN PORRITT)
NATIONAL: The federal government’s controversial plans to extend the NT intervention for another ten years are expected to be debated tonight.
Stronger Futures extends many of the contentious planks of the Howard government’s 2007 NT emergency response, which was continued largely unchanged by Labor.
The suite of bills passed the lower house on the same day of the ALP leadership turmoil earlier this year, and was announced following a period of consultation throughout NT communities. The consultations have been derided as a “sham” by many human rights and legal groups.
Stronger Futures is now likely to pass the upper house in the midst of political turmoil over Independent MP Rob Oakeshott’s compromise bill to push through the Gillard government’s Malaysian solution. The opposition and Greens are expected to try and push through amendments to the Stronger Futures bills, one of which is reducing the time of review from seven years down to 3.
Greens Senator Rachel Siewert tweeted that it “looks set to be debated and voted on in the Senate later today”.
The legislation has provoked strong opposition from human rights, Aboriginal and religious organisations.