The majority voted in favour of an amendment introduced by Senator Nigel Scullion, which means that it was successful. The amendment was:
(11) Page 18 (after line 12), after Schedule 3, insert:
Schedule 3A—Access to Aboriginal land
Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976
1 Subsection 70B(2)
Omit “may” (first occurring), substitute “must”.
Senator Scullion explained that this amendment "deals with the current discretion of the minister in whether or not they change regulations or impact on regulations to ensure that the permit system changes are invoked".(Read Senator Scullion's full explanation here. Read more about the permit system in the bills digest. )
Background to the bill
In 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response ('the Intervention') was introduced in response to a report called Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle Little Children are Sacred: The Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse.(Read more about the Little Children are Sacred report here. ) The intervention was controversial and has been a source of ongoing debate.
This latest bill changes and removes some of the measures introduced as part of the Intervention. In summary, it:
- prohibits certain pay television licensees from providing television channels that contain a large amount of R18+ programming to certain prescribed areas;
- permits transporting pornographic material through a prescribed area to a place outside the prescribed area (currently its presence for any purpose is prohibited);
- reintroduces elements of the permit system, which requires visitors to certain Aboriginal areas to first seek permission to enter the area; and
- enables community dependent roadhouses to be licensed as community stores.(See the bills digest for more information.)