McMAHON TO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO RESTORE TERRITORY RIGHTS

MEDIA RELEASE

6 June 2021

McMAHON TO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO RESTORE TERRITORY RIGHTS

Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon has instructed the Procedure Office to draft legislation for introduction into the Senate to ensure the rights of the Northern Territory to make its own laws.

Senator McMahon will introduce the - Ensuring Territory Rights Bill 2021 – at the next sitting opportunity.

Senator McMahon said the laws as they currently stand, are fundamentally unfair and unjust because the Commonwealth prevents the Northern Territory from being able to determine its own destiny.

“This has created two class of Australians - those who can have laws passed and those that can’t,” Senator McMahon said.

The objective of the legislation is to remove limitations that currently apply by repealing relevant sections of the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978.

The amendments would repeal sections 50.1, 50(A) 1 and 2 and 53 of the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978.

By amending the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978, limitations that apply to the Northern Territory Parliament pertaining to the acquisition of property on just terms, laws concerning euthanasia, and the application of the Fair Work Act 2009 will be removed.

“The Commonwealth overrode the Territory’s Rights of the Terminally Ill legislation in 1997 and it is high time the NT’s rights were restored,” Dr McMahon said.

“At the time when the Commonwealth Parliament acted this way the Northern Territory was leading the nation in debating the rights of terminally ill individuals.

“Now, in 2021 the Northern Territory is trailing the rest of Australia who have either adopted such laws or are in the process of debating such laws.

“It is time to correct the imbalance. My Bill does not seek to reinstate the laws. What is does is clear the way for a fresh debate to occur in the Northern Territory and for the democratically elected NT Legislative Assembly to debate the matter.”

Senator McMahon said she was determined to ensure Territorians had the same rights and benefits as those Australians who enjoy statehood.

ENDS

Media contact:

Senator McMahon: Lance Northey 0411 876 162