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NT Govt proposes law making it easier to implement curfews

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The NT Government wants to introduce a new law to make it easier to implement curfews.
The NT Government wants to introduce a new law to make it easier to implement curfews.

The NT Government wants to introduce a new law to make it easier to implement curfews.

It comes after a recent three-week curfew for young people in Alice Springs, which followed a string of violent incidents in the town.

The Government hailed the measure a “success”, and said it showed curfews can be an “effective community safety tool”.

It’s now introduced a draft law to give police greater powers to call for and enforce curfews.

Draft law for easier curfews

The Alice Springs curfew was part of an emergency declaration in the town.

A draft law tabled on Thursday would make it faster for a curfew to be declared.

Under the proposal, the NT Police Commissioner would have new powers to announce curfews in any area where public disorder has happened or is expected to happen.

It means a curfew could be called after one disturbance, or a series of riots. Any extension of a curfew will require government sign-off.

NT Chief Minister’s comments

NT Chief Minister Eva Lawler said the Government doesn’t expect the proposed law to lead to frequent curfews.

However, she said it would provide an “important option… as a circuit-breaker where [curfews] are needed”.

The NT Government’s proposal includes a review of the curfew powers to ensure they’re being used appropriately, a year after they come into force. This review would also consider if any changes to the law is required.

Opposition

The Labor Government has a majority of seats in NT’s one house of Parliament, and won’t need additional support to pass the law.

However, the NT Country Liberal Opposition said it would support the legislation. It also backed the Alice Springs curfew and called for it to be extended.

Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro suggested targeted penalties for people who “continually breach” curfews, including mandatory community service.

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