Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

NT Emergency – Labor for it one day, against it the next

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough said that today’s announcement by Labor on CDEP is just another in a series of backdowns on the NT Emergency Response.

It shows that they will water down the essential elements to protect children by taking easy politically motivated options.

  • They argued against key elements of the emergency legislation in the Parliament before voting for it.
  • While Federal Labor said it supports the intervention, the NT Labor Government does its best to undermine it and pays for full page advertisements opposing important aspects of our alcohol bans.
  • Federal Labor previously supported the abolition of CDEP and they now want to re-establish it.

Federal Labor is prepared to jeopardise the crucial policy of cash management through quarantining. Despite what they say you can’t quarantine people’s wages under CDEP unless it’s voluntary. So for a few votes Labor would leave cash in these communities for gambling and grog during the emergency period.

They will lead Aboriginal people back down the road of passive welfare just when they are beginning to embrace the Howard Government’s reforms. We cannot allow another catastrophic failure under Labor. The women and children of the Northern Territory have the right to expect much more than that.

Respected NT Aboriginal leader Mr Galuwrray Yunipingu who originally opposed the NT reforms, said, after it was explained to him, that CDEP must go. Labor must listen to people like Mr Yunipingu who believe in a real economy rather than make work job creation programs that go nowhere.