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Annual Report 2006-2007 Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission



Annual Report 2006-2007 Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission

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Tabled paper 1144


Tabled papers for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Tabled Papers for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT; Tabled Papers






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Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission 2006/2007 Annual Report 5 From the Commissioner In accordance with my obligation under section 16 of the Anti-Discrimination Act (the Act) I have great pleasure in presenting my fifth Annual Report to the AttorneyGeneral and Minister for Justice. IMPORTANT EVENTS Two important events for the Anti-Discrimination Commission (ADC) took place during this years reporting period (July 2006 to June 2007) and hopefully struck a chord with the Northern Territory (NT) community. Both events resulted from the ADCs statutory duty under section 13 of the Act to promote recognition, understanding and acceptance of equal opportunity principles and also to publish codes of practice to assist in compliance with the Act. The first saw the launch in October 2006 of our publication Preventing Discrimination Its Good For Business at Parliament House. The launch was hosted by Minister Marion Scrymgour deputising for the Minister for Business and Economic Development (the Hon Kon Vatskalis). The launch coincided with October Business Month and was co-sponsored by the NT Chamber of Commerce. The publication is designed to assist small NT businesses in preventing unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and to inform businesses of their rights and obligations under the Act. The second event was the launch in June this year of the ADCs first ever television advertising campaign. The TV advertisements were also launched at a function held in Parliament House, this time hosted by the Hon Syd Stirling, Minister for Justice and Attorney-General. The TV ads, on the themes of disability, sex and race discrimination may be viewed by accessing our website. One other noteworthy current event took place immediately after the reporting period and deserves mention here because it has significant implications for the work of the Commission in 2007-2008. July 2007 marked the extraordinary invasion of remote NT by the Federal government on the pretext of addressing child abuse. Much has now been written elsewhere by myself and others about the discriminatory aspects of the invasion, (would the government contemplate similar measures for non-indigenous communities in other parts of Australia where child abuse is a problem?) and the failure of the invaders to address the recommendations of the Little Children Are Sacred Report. Indeed the Federal government appears to be conceding that its intervention is discriminatory by legislatively exempting any of the intervention measures from the jurisdiction of the Racial Discrimination Act (Cwth) and the AntiDiscrimination Act. In particular the failure by the Federal government to consult local Indigenous people and/or the NT government about the strategy is breathtaking in the depth of its arrogance and lack of sincerity. Tony Fitzgerald Commissioner