The former Australian Government's legislation package for the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) was passed in August 2007.
It is made up of five key Acts:
- two NTER-specific appropriation Acts, which provided in excess of $580 million for the 2007-08 financial year (funding for subsequent years has been provided through ordinary annual appropriations)
- Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007
- which deals with: alcohol bans, audit of publicly funded computers for prohibited material, acquisition of compulsory five‑year leases, business management in communities, bail and sentencing laws, and licensing of community stores
- Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Act 2007
- which deals with measures in relation to welfare reform
- Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Northern Territory National Emergency Response and Other Measures) Act 2007
- which amends a number of existing Acts in relation to: law enforcement, rights in relation to government‑funded infrastructure, the permit system and prohibited material.
The alcohol bans in the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007 were amended by the previous Government in September 2007 via the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Amendment (Alcohol) Act 2007.
In February 2008, the current Government introduced a bill into Parliament to reverse the public-access changes to the permit system — the system governing access to Aboriginal land established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. These changes commenced on 17 February 2008. The bill failed to pass in the Senate.
In October 2008 the Government made a commitment to amend the NTER legislation in the Spring 2009 sittings of Parliament to remove the current provisions suspending the operation of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.