Two quotes to consider as the House of Representatives today casts a hasty eye over the 500-plus pages of legislative framework for the government’s Northern Territory intervention:

Prime Minister John Howard, June 21: Anybody who’s read or examined the report prepared by Pat Anderson and Rex Wild entitled Little Children Are Sacred will be sickened and horrified by the level of abuse. They will be deeply disturbed at the widespread nature of that abuse and they will be looking for the responsible assumption of authority by a government to deal with the problem. We are unhappy with the response of the Northern Territory Government … We regard this as akin to a national emergency … we therefore believe that the action I’m about to outline is totally justified and warranted given our overarching responsibilities for the welfare of children throughout Australia.

Pat Anderson, coauthor of the Little Children are Sacred report: There is no relationship between the Federal response and our recommendations. We feel betrayed and disappointed and hurt and angry and pretty pis-ed off at the same time.

The bills will be law by Friday.

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