This division relates to the Policy For the NT National Emergency Response.

The majority voted in favour of a motion "That the words proposed to be omitted (Ms Macklin’s amendment) stand part of the question." In other words, the majority wanted the words to remain unchanged.

Labor MP Jenny Macklin had moved an amendment to the motion "that the bill be read for a second time". The amendment was:

That all words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

“whilst not declining to give the Bill a second reading, the House notes that:

(1) the protection of children from harm and abuse is of paramount concern to all Australians;

(2) the documented instances of child abuse within Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory are of such gravity as to require an urgent and comprehensive response to make children and the communities they live in, safe;(Read more about the report into child sexual abuse in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities that sparked this legislation here. )

(3) these legislative measures taken together represent a major challenge for Territorians and a change to current arrangements;

(4) we will not succeed in our goal of protecting children without the support and leadership of Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory; the Commonwealth must gain their trust, engage them and respect them throughout this emergency and beyond;

(5) the work of strong and effective Indigenous community members and organisations must continue to be supported during this emergency;

(6) it is important that temporary measures are replaced in time with permanent reforms that have the confidence and support of Territorians, and short term measures aimed at ensuring the safety of children grow into long term responses that create stronger communities that are free of violence and abuse;

(7) In the case of town camps effective partnerships with lessors and negotiated outcomes should obviate the need for compulsory acquisition;

(8) this includes stimulating economic development and more private sector partnerships to secure greater self-reliance;

(9) both levels of government must work in partnership; there must be political accountability at the highest level—with the Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs;

(10) program funding must hit the ground through evidence-based delivery; there must be relentless focus on best-practice and rigorous evaluation by all parties set within specific timeframes;

(11) practical measures must include;

(a) police to keep every community in the Territory safe, particularly children, women and elders;

(b) safe houses that provide a safe place for women and children escaping family violence or abuse built using the direction and leadership of local Indigenous women;

(c) night patrols that provide important protection;

(d) community law and justice groups that play an important role in the effective administration of justice;

(e) appropriate background checks for all people providing services in communities who work in proximity to children;

(f) comprehensive coverage of child and maternal health services are essential to give children the best start;

(g) comprehensive coverage of parenting and early development services for Indigenous parents and their babies;

(h) an effective child protection system in the Northern Territory;

(i) all children enrolled and attending school and governments to deliver teachers, classrooms, teacher housing and support services (eg Indigenous teacher assistants);

(j) investment in housing construction and maintenance to reduce the shortfall in Indigenous homes and infrastructure; and

(k) reform of the Community Development and Employment Program, including transitioning participants who are employed in public sector work into proper public sector jobs and ensuring participants are not left without sufficient income or participation opportunities”.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced along with four other bills:

This legislation was introduced in response to the Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Little Children are Sacred report, which was publicly released on 15 June 2007.(Read more about the background of the bills in the interim bills digest. ) That report came after concerns were raised on ABC's Lateline program in 2006.(Read the transcript for the Lateline programs that addressed the issue of child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory here (the May 2006 program) and here (the June 2006 program).)


Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Labor Party (90% turnout) 0 Yes 53 No
Dick Adams Lyons No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler No
Arch Bevis Brisbane No
Sharon Bird Cunningham No
Chris Bowen Prospect No
Anna Burke Chisholm No
Tony Burke Watson No
Anthony Byrne Holt No
Ann Corcoran Isaacs No
Simon Crean Hotham No
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports No
Graham Edwards Cowan No
Justine Elliot Richmond No
Annette Ellis Canberra No
Kate Ellis Adelaide No
Craig Emerson Rankin No
Laurie Ferguson Reid No
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter No
Peter Garrett Kingsford Smith No
Jennie George Throsby No
Steve Gibbons Bendigo No
Julia Gillard Lalor No
Sharon Grierson Newcastle No
Alan Griffin Bruce No
Jill Hall Shortland No
Michael Hatton Blaxland No
Chris Hayes Werriwa No
Julia Irwin Fowler No
Harry Jenkins Scullin No
Duncan Kerr Denison No
Catherine King Ballarat No
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia No
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga No
Robert McClelland Barton No
Bob McMullan Fraser No
Daryl Melham Banks No
John Murphy Lowe No
Brendan O'Connor Gorton No
Gavan O'Connor Corio No
Julie Owens Parramatta No
Tanya Plibersek Sydney No
Roger Price Chifley No
Bernie Ripoll Oxley No
Kevin Rudd Griffith No
Rod Sawford Port Adelaide No
Bob Sercombe Maribyrnong No
Stephen Smith Perth No
Warren Snowdon Lingiari No
Wayne Swan Lilley No
Lindsay Tanner Melbourne No
Kelvin Thomson Wills No
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell No
Kim Wilkie Swan No
Kim Beazley Brand Absent
Martin Ferguson Batman Absent
Steve Georganas Hindmarsh Absent
Kelly Hoare Charlton Absent
Carmen Lawrence Fremantle Absent
Nicola Roxon Gellibrand Absent
Dave Tollner Solomon Country Liberal Party Yes
Ian Causley Page Deputy Speaker Absent
Harry Quick Franklin Independent No
Peter Andren Calare Independent Absent
Bob Katter Kennedy Independent Absent
Tony Windsor New England Independent Absent
Liberal Party (89% turnout) 65 Yes 0 No
Kevin Andrews Menzies Yes
Fran Bailey McEwen Yes
Bruce Baird Cook Yes
Mark Baker Braddon Yes
Bob Baldwin Paterson Yes
Phillip Barresi Deakin Yes
Kerry Bartlett Macquarie Yes
Bruce Billson Dunkley Yes
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar Yes
Julie Bishop Curtin Yes
Russell Broadbent McMillan Yes
Mal Brough Longman Yes
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff Yes
Peter Dutton Dickson Yes
Kay Elson Forde Yes
Warren Entsch Leichhardt Yes
Pat Farmer Macarthur Yes
David Fawcett Wakefield Yes
Michael Ferguson Bass Yes
Teresa Gambaro Petrie Yes
Joanna Gash Gilmore Yes
Petro Georgiou Kooyong Yes
Barry Haase Kalgoorlie Yes
Gary Hardgrave Moreton Yes
Stuart Henry Hasluck Yes
Joe Hockey North Sydney Yes
Greg Hunt Flinders Yes
Dennis Jensen Tangney Yes
Michael Johnson Ryan Yes
David Jull Fadden Yes
Michael Keenan Stirling Yes
Jackie Kelly Lindsay Yes
Andrew Laming Bowman Yes
Sussan Ley Farrer Yes
Peter Lindsay Herbert Yes
Ian Macfarlane Groom Yes
Louise Markus Greenway Yes
Margaret May McPherson Yes
Stewart McArthur Corangamite Yes
Sophie Mirabella Indi Yes
Judi Moylan Pearce Yes
Brendan Nelson Bradfield Yes
Chris Pearce Aston Yes
Geoff Prosser Forrest Yes
Christopher Pyne Sturt Yes
Don Randall Canning Yes
Kym Richardson Kingston Yes
Andrew Robb Goldstein Yes
Philip Ruddock Berowra Yes
Alby Schultz Hume Yes
Patrick Secker Barker Yes
Peter Slipper Fisher Yes
Tony Smith Casey Yes
Alex Somlyay Fairfax Yes
Andrew Southcott Boothby Yes
Sharman Stone Murray Yes
Cameron Thompson Blair Yes
Ken Ticehurst Dobell Yes
Wilson Tuckey O'Connor Yes
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth Yes
Danna Vale Hughes Yes
Ross Vasta Bonner Yes
Barry Wakelin Grey Yes
Mal Washer Moore Yes
Jason Wood La Trobe Yes
Tony Abbott Warringah Absent
Alan Cadman Mitchell Absent
Peter Costello Higgins Absent
Alexander Downer Mayo Absent
Trish Draper Makin Absent
John Howard Bennelong Absent
Jim Lloyd Robertson Absent
Gary Nairn Eden-Monaro Absent
National Party (73% turnout) 8 Yes 0 No
John Anderson Gwydir Yes
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper Yes
Kay Hull Riverina Yes
De-Anne Kelly Dawson Yes
Peter McGauran Gippsland Yes
Paul Neville Hinkler Yes
Bruce Scott Maranoa Yes
Warren Truss Wide Bay Yes
John Cobb Parkes Absent
John Forrest Mallee Absent
Mark Vaile Lyne Absent
David Hawker Wannon Speaker Absent
Totals (85% turnout) 74 Yes – 54 No