p>Federal Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon and Senator for the Northern Territory, Trish Crossin, have welcomed the passing of legislation that removes certain powers of Executive Government to disallow and recommend amendments to laws of the Northern Territory.
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Federal Member for Lingiari
SENATOR TRISH CROSSIN
Senator for the Northern Territory
2 November 2011
Federal Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon and Senator for the Northern Territory, Trish Crossin, have welcomed the passing of legislation that removes certain powers of Executive Government to disallow and recommend amendments to laws of the Northern Territory.
The Territories Self Government Legislation Amendment (Disallowance and Amendment of Laws) was carried in the House of Representatives yesterday, with the support of the Gillard Labor Government.
The legislation means that in future if a Federal Government is determined to challenge Northern Territory legislation, it will be required to obtain majority support in both houses of parliament.
Currently NT Legislation can be overruled by Executive action, affording the people and parliament of the Territory fewer democratic rights than the states.
Mr Snowdon said the Territory has had self government since 1978 and the NT Legislative Assembly has proven itself to be a well established debating chamber.
“This new legislation is a step forward toward greater legislative independence for the Northern Territory and a better reflection of our democratic rights, it recognises the maturity and the right of Territorians to govern ourselves.
“The new arrangement means that if Territory laws are challenged by a Federal Government there will be open debate and scrutiny by the elected members of the Federal Parliament, rather than the current arrangement where by a Federal Minister can set in train the disallowance of NT legislation at the stroke of a pen,” Mr Snowdon said.
The legislation has been passed in time for the Northern Territory’s Constitutional Convention, with delegates elected from across all 25 Legislative Assembly Electorates across the Territory, shortly meeting to consider matters of law and government.
Mr Snowdon said sadly it is the view of the Federal Opposition and the Member for Solomon opposed the legislation, that the affairs of the Territory should be ultimately controlled in secret behind close doors.
Senator Crossin said the Territories Self Government Legislation Amendment (Disallowance and Amendment of Laws) ensures Territory laws are not overruled by the Executive arm of Government without the approval of Parliament.
“I am amazed the Coalition obviously disagrees with the NT being given a fair say in its own affairs.
“The Opposition, including the Member for Solomon and CLP Senator for the Northern Territory do not have the interest of Territorians at heart,” Senator Crossin said.
“While Labor is prepared to stand up and say Australia’s Territories and Territorians deserve the same protection for their laws the States enjoy, the Coalition continues to spread misinformation and deny us a fair go,” she said.
Alice Plate (Minister Snowdon) 02 6277 7820
Carla Fernandes (Senator Crossin) 0407 619 383