Northern Territory. Legislative Assembly. Sessional Committee on Constitutional Development
Parliamentary reports; ParliamentNT
Period: 1 July 1991 to 30 June 1992; 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995
Northern Territory. Legislative Assembly. Sessional Committee on Constitutional Development -- Periodicals.; Constitutional law -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals.
Northern Territory Government
1 volume ; 25 cm.
Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT As reported in the previous Annual Report, the Committee conducted an extensive program in pron1oting constitutional issues, particularly in Aboriginal communities throughout the Northern Territory. During that year a number of public hearings and meetings were conducted. This year the Committee did not conduct any public hearings or meetings however, it concentrated on the consolidation .of evidence presented at those public hearings and meetings and the public submissions received so far. The information and evidence received prompted the Committee to develop and prepare of a number of discussion and information papers relevant to current constitutional issues. The first of these papers, published in August 1991, was Discussion Paper No. 3 entitled "Citizens' Initiated Referendums". The response was quite good, raising a range of options on citizens' initiative. The Comn1ittee is now considering the content of those sub1nissions received. Towards the end of 1991 , the Conunittee explored the idea of promoting and conducting a major constitutional conference in Darwin, possibly in the latter half of 1992. Subsequently the Committee approved the idea and planning and promotion of the conference began in March 1992. Apart from organising the conference, work also began on the preparation of Discussion Paper No. 4 relating to the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal custon1ary la\v. This paper is to be tabled in the Assen1bly within the next financial year. During April 1992 the Committee met with the Constitutional Centenary Foundation in Melbourne. The Foundation's aim, formed by eminent Australians, is to promote public discussion and response on constitutional issues and to review the Australian constitutional system by the year 2001. The meeting with the Foundation proved very fruitful in providing an avenue for the Committee to promote NT constitutional issues that not only affect the Northern Territory constitutional development and recognition but also have implications concerning constitutional review at the national level. Particular issues such as the relationship between the Executive and the Parliament and the constitutional recognition of Australia's Aboriginal people, to name but two, are not solely a matter for Tcrritorians to dea l with. Whilst the development of a home-grown constitution for the Northern Territory rests primarily with Territorians, national consensus and support are as much an important and welcomed ingredient for the Northern Territory in gaining Statehood within the Australian Federation. STEVE HATTON Chairman 1