Quick Exit

State governments turn away from Closing the Gap and blindly implement failed ‘anti-violence’ strategies that increase violence

JOINT STATEMENT from NATSILS (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services)

Thursday 28 March 2024

Responding to the announcement of a new youth curfew in Alice Springs, continued fearmongering and even threats of a new “intervention”, the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) says state governments around Australia have proven themselves incapable of a basic history lesson.

Karly Warner, Chair of NATSILS, said that the latest “emergency” in Alice Springs, or indeed in other places like Moree, was going to get worse if Premiers around the country kept repeating failed history.

“Less than a year after the Voice referendum, various governments have now been spooked by fear campaigns. Their failure to progress Closing the Gap commitments results in further dislocation, trauma, and the anxiety we are seeing play out in some communities."

Policies that result in children being locked up and make problems worse are not solutions – they are dangerous and will result in further tragedy for communities and children."

"Governments have a clear choice and it should be an easy one. They can opt for what they see as political fixes that make the problem worse, or they can go to the policies and solutions that are evidence-based and already well-established.

“Using ‘but, we have to do something!’ as an excuse for punitive measures against children is itself juvenile intellectual reasoning. Policies that result in children being locked up and make problems worse are not solutions – they are dangerous and will result in further tragedy for communities and children.”

“NATSILS is calling on state governments around Australia including NT and NSW to abandon their punitive policies and get back on track with Closing the Gap.”

 

ENDS

 

Media contact: Catalina Casar, [email protected], 0421 547 759

 

NATSILS is the national peak representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services around Australia:

  • Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited
  • Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (SA)
  • Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd
  • North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency
  • Tasmanian Aboriginal Legal Service
  • Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

Ways to Get Involved