The demise of the Coalition Government will have an impact on the nature of the NT intervention. For the better, in my, and many others, opinion.
Based on Labor’s public comments and commitments we can expect the following;
- CDEP will continue and increase in scope much to the relief of many community organisations
- the permit system will not be revoked for remote communities
What other alterations may occur are unknown, but here are my best guesses,
- the compulsory acquisition of communities for 5 years will be abandoned
- government business managers will be phased out
- the quarantining of welfare payments will no longer apply to everyone but will be implemented on a case-by-case basis with a right to appeal.
- SBS will not be banned in the NT.
Generally in Indigenous affairs, we can expect;
- a new elected national Indigenous body (bye-bye to the Govt appointed and ineffectual NIC)
- a more consultative and considered approachbut also an outcome orientated approach
- a shake-up at the Office of Indigenous Policy Co-ordination (which can’t) and the Indigenous Co-ordination Centres (which don’t).
And what an appropriate place for the former Minister, Mal Brough. His time as Minister was meteoric – short and spectacular. While his loss in his own electorate of Longman almost certainly had nothing to do with the NTER, as Chris Graham (Editor of NIT) noted at Crikey (thanks Club Troppo ), there was a voter assessment of the intervention in the seat of Lingiari which covers all the affected communities. It seems that remote communities weren’t as enthusiastic for the intervention as Mr Brough was. There weren’t big changes, but most of the swings in remote polling booths were towards rather than away from Labor. One interesting result was from Oenpelli in Western Arnhem land, where the CLP managed an amazing 14 votes out of the 699 cast. The Greens beat them with 21.