Debate: DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE (RECOGNITION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDERS) (NATIONAL UNIFORM LAW) AMENDMENT BILL (Serial 3)
Mr GUYULA (Nhulunbuy): Madam Speaker, I support this bill.
This bill is an improvement on existing law; it supports victim rights in existing laws. I cannot, however, accept DVOs as a solution for my people. DVOs, by the colonial nature of the system, make more violence and conflict than what they assist in. DVOs impinge upon the ability of Yolngu clan leadership in dealing properly with violence in our community and domestic conflict.
Our people are struggling with lateral violence directly caused by the colonial movement that started with the landing of the first fleet in 1788. For the Yolngu people colonial takeover is not an issue of the past but a current ongoing conflict. It is a conflict through tools like DVOs disempower my people and make our justice dependent on the very people who caused the violence in the first place.
The answer to lowering domestic violence in rural communities is taking control of the issue. This means we must have the power to intervene in these issues, return Yolngu authorities and not be threatened by the intervention of Northern Territory police and non-Indigenous law like domestic violence orders.