Skip to main content

It's time to share your story about how the Intervention has affected you and your community

14 November 2022

The new Labour Government are looking into how the Intervention and the Stronger Futures Legislation affected Indigenous people so they have formed a Senate Inquiry to investigate this called the Community Safety, Support Service and Job Opportunities Senate Inquiry. 
The Senate Inquiry into Community Safety, Support Service and Job Opportunities is your chance to tell your story and the stories of your family and communities to government and share with them how you have been impacted by the Intervention and the finishing up of the Stronger Futures legislation. 
The senate are very interested to learn directly from Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory what the effects to community safety, support services, job opportunities, housing and health have been experienced during the intervention and up until now. 
Representatives of the Senate Inquiry Committee including co –chair Senator Patrick Dodson will be coming to Maningrida on the 8th of December to meet with community directly and hear from individuals and organisations across the West Arnhem Region who wish to tell their story.


What’s this all about?

In 2007 the Commonwealth Government imposed a package of legislation most commonly known as the Intervention on Indigenous people living in the Northern Territory. A range of restrictions for Indigenous people only were brought in under the Intervention some of these were:

• Closing down Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP)
• Removing customary law and cultural practise considerations from bail applications and sentencing in criminal trials
• Increasing Policing in community
• Restricting the sale, and drinking of alcohol in prescribed areas
• Abolishing the permit system under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976 for common areas, road corridors and airstrips for prescribed communities

Many will remember the Government sending the army into Indigenous communities around the Territory and then in 2008 they forced change to using a BasicsCard card and introduction of even bigger fines relating to alcohol. 
In 2012, five years after the Intervention began, the legislation upon which it was based was due to expire so the Government under Julia Gillard decided to replace it with The Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act.

This effectively extend the intervention for a further 10 years. 

The new government want to hear about and understand the good and bad news about how all of this impacted Indigenous people in your community. One example might be telling government how well was your community consulted about grog laws changing this year and whether the people of your community know if they can or can’t drink grog in the community now? 

Another example might be telling government about the quality and standard of housing in community, homelands and outstations. You are encouraged to tell the story of your families living conditions such as whether your house is overcrowded, what is not working in the house like plumbing, kitchen.  
How long you have to wait for repairs and maintenance?  Do you have a flush toilet or drop toilet? 


How can I tell my story? 

Some representatives of the government who are on the senate committee are coming to Maningrida on the 8th of December to hear directly from community the stories you wish to share. 
If you can’t make it to Maningrida you can still tell your story and make a submission in writing or by video or art work etc… in language or in English to


If you have any questions about the inquiry or the process of making submissions please contact the Senate Committee secretariat:

Committee Secretary
Joint Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600


Phone: 02 6277 4559


Or alternatively you are welcome to contact Brooke Darmanin from West Arnhem Regional Council on 8979 9444 to discuss the inquiry and any ways that Council may be able to support you in making a submission.