House debates

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008

Second Reading

10:56 am

Photo of Chris HayesChris Hayes (Werriwa, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I have been there. People talk about what can be done about the rivers of grog and the illicit drugs being imported into these areas. One of the things we need is greater access to law enforcement. We have been saying that for some time. I was very pleased that the former government did decide to put more money into seconding police for the Northern Territory. We supported that. But, in supporting those measures, we were not going to say, ‘Let’s use that as an excuse to wind back the permit system once and for all’—something that the other side always wanted to do—‘to get rid of the issue of access.’

I support the bill and would hope that it will be passed on a bipartisan basis. I hope the other side does not want to enter into an ideological argument about access to Aboriginal lands. I would hope that in this debate people will actually start to think what this is about and what this has always been about—about what was stated in The little children are sacred report. This is about the kids and the women, and ensuring they are not subject to crimes in those areas. This is about trying to address those matters. I commend the bill to the House.


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