The majority voted in favour of a motion That this bill be now read a third time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority agree with the bill and want it to pass in the Senate. The bill will now be returned to the House of Representatives for them to consider amendments agreed to in the Senate.
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.)