Indigenous
Affairs Minister Mal Brough got tough with the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister Clare Martin yesterday.

Martin insists Aboriginal housing is a key
source of community breakdown and violence – yet Brough says it will receive no
extra funding until law and order is restored in Northern Territory
communities.

He seems to be forgetting the power the
Commonwealth wields – and its track record in dealing with the Territory.

The Commonwealth Parliament can override
Territory law. It has done so already in the life of the Howard Government –
through Kevin Andrews’s private member’s act that overturned the Territory’s
euthanasia legislation, and by acting at a Government level to establish a low
level radioactive waste dump in the Top End.

If Mal Brough
wants things done in the Territory, he has ultimate authority.

Peter Fray

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