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Government's fatally flawed NT Bills pass Senate.



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Media Statement Friday 17th August 2007

SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT Queensland Democrat Senator QUEENSLAND’S ONLY INDEPENDENT VOICE IN THE SENATE

Government’s fatally flawed NT Bills pass Senate

Commenting on the passage of the government’s Northern Territory Indigenous intervention package, Democrats’ Deputy Leader Andrew Bartlett said that “The government’s refusal to widely consult with Indigenous people or to make improvements to the Bills has left them fatally flawed.”

“The Democrats attempted to improve the Bills to make them workable, but the government’s refusal to listen to common sense has meant that we have been left with bad laws,” Senator Bartlett said.

“The approach the government has taken deliberately attempts to destroy the middle ground, dramatically increasing the likelihood that this will turn out to be yet another government failure.

“The government’s insistence on politicising this issue and taking such an aggressively divisive approach where there is almost universal public support for helping Aboriginal people has been destructive and unhelpful.

“The failure to allow a proper review of the legislation and passing up the chance to hear the views and voices of Aboriginal people who will be most affected by these new laws was also an absolute disgrace.

“Despite the passage of these seriously flawed laws, the Democrats will continue to try to work constructively with Indigenous people, wider society and any other political parties that are interested in working together to achieve real positive, empowering change for Indigenous Australians,” Senator Bartlett said.

Media contact - Tracee McPate - 0417 607 655

Electoral office: Suite 14 B1, 7/421 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 t: 07 3252 7101 local call cost (Qld): 1300 301 879 f: 07 3252 8957 e: senator.bartlett@aph.gov.au web: www.andrewbartlett.com