Debates 16/03/17 https://parliament.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/407008/DEBATES-DAY-3-16-MARCH-2017.pdf
Mr GUYULA (Nhulunbuy):
I stand here not as a member from the government or opposition; I am here as an independent member from the Yolngu Nations Assembly. Things that I hear and things I want to say—I want to try to attract to the ears of government and the law to try to get a better communication between us and my people, with our law that we live by.
Whilst I understand the perspective of other members who will support this bill, I do not support it, because, once again, I fear that we are making laws to suit non-Indigenous society. That is the point I am trying to make.
Most of the people in Northern Territory gaols and remand are Indigenous. Many Indigenous people are in gaol because NT law lacks the idea of legitimacy. The other central reason Indigenous are in gaol is due to severe communication failure by the parliament when it creates law, police in their enforcement of these laws, and courts in their judgments of these laws. This is particularly true for people in my electorate.
The ability to electronically monitor people will not assist legitimacy or communication. I predict it will make these issues worse. It will increase fear and dislike of the police. For example, if a police officer wants to find someone skipping bail, they can ask a man or woman clan leader. If we want a solution, it is not with greater enforcement powers, which de-humanises justice. Justice dependency must be dealt with.
In our community we want police discretion handed back to elders. We want a sovereign right to punish and rehabilitate our people ourselves.
I know it is a little hard, but, from my perspective in the culture I come from, in this parliament we want the clear message that we have a system where we can punish [,rehabilitate] and go through justice. Through this system it is a bit hard, but I need this government to understand that I have views that not many people would understand. As I said, I am not standing on either side of government, but as an Independent member, and this is my view, which leaders in the community would understand and see as achievable.
Note: Bill was introduced and passed within a single week of parliamentary sittings.