This consultation is now closed.

The Anti-Discrimination Act (the Act) commenced on 1 August 1993. Discrimination law is an evolving area of practice and needs to keep pace with contemporary standards and expectations. The Department of the Attorney‑General and Justice has commenced a review of the Act to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the community.

A discussion paper outlining proposed reforms to the Act has been released by the Department of the Attorney‑General and Justice. These proposed reforms include:

  • modernising gender and sexuality protections and language in line with the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth);
  • changes to the law to support an end to discrimination against people of diverse sexualities accessing artificial fertilisation procedures;
  • introducing new protections under the Act such as domestic violence, homelessness, lawful sexual activity and socioeconomic status;
  • introducing specific anti-vilification laws prohibiting offensive conduct on the basis of race, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status;
  • extending coverage of the sexual harassment provisions to include all areas of public life;
  • introducing a representative complaints model that enables organisations to bring complaints about acts of systemic discrimination on behalf of groups who may be limited in their ability to bring an individual complaint;
  • removing some of the exemptions for religious and cultural organisations; and
  • broadening the scope of clubs by removal of the requirement for clubs to sell or supply liquor for consumption on its premises.

The Department of the Attorney-General and Justice is seeking your comments on potential future amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act. Submissions or comments can be as short or informal as an email or letter, or can be a more substantial document. They do not have to address all aspects of the discussion paper nor must they be confined to any of the proposed options discussed in the paper.

Public Consultation Sessions





Thursday 12 October



Cazalys Palmerston Club (bistro area)




Hilton Darwin, 32 Mitchell Street

Friday 13 October



Hilton Darwin, 32 Mitchell Street

Saturday 14 October

Humpty Doo


Village Green

Tuesday 17 October



Casuarina Library

Friday 27 October



Katherine Government Centre conference room

Wednesday 1 November

Tennant Creek


Tennant Creek training centre

Friday 3 November

Alice Springs


CASA Central Office, 6/5 Hartley Street

Friday 10 November



Nhulunbuy Corporation Boardroom

Thursday 16 November Darwin12.30pmTerritory Conference Room, Development House, 76 The Esplanade, Darwin
Thursday 16 November Palmerston5.30pmCommunity Room, Palmerston Recreation Centre, 11 The Boulevard, Palmerston

People who want to attend are requested to register for the event by phoning 8935 7668 or emailing policy.agd@nt.gov.au

Discussion Paper - PDF (209.5 kb) | Word (85.7 kb)

The closing date for making comments is 31 January 2018.

Comments should be sent to:

Director, Legal Policy
Department of the Attorney-General and Justice
GPO Box 1722
Darwin NT 0801

This consultation is now closed.

The Northern Territory (NT) is committed to being part of a national scheme where domestic violence orders made in a participating state or territory will be automatically recognised and enforceable in the NT, without having to be registered here.

To be part of this scheme, the NT must change the Domestic and Family Violence Act through a new Bill.

The Bill is based on model laws approved by the Council of Australian Governments.

So far, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have introduced or enacted legislation under this national scheme.

For more detailed information read the Domestic and Family Violence Act (Recognition of Domestic Violence Orders) (National Uniform Law) Amendment Bill 2016 (328.4 kb).

You can also read the explanatory paper (483.1 kb) on the changes to the Act.

The closing date for making comments is 5 August 2016.

Comments should be sent to:

Director, Policy Coordination
Department of the Attorney-General and Justice
GPO Box 1722
Darwin NT 0801

Go to past consultations to see consultation that is now closed.

To read outcomes of consultations, go to reports and reviews.

The NT Government has begun a six month review of NT WorkSafe. Independent consultant Tim Lyons has been commissioned to conduct the review following his work with a similar review of the Queensland regulator. Mr Lyons will now work closely with a Territory reference group made up of industry, union and government nominees to look into strengthening NT WorkSafe’s policies, procedures and activities.

Terms of reference


The purpose of this review is to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of NT WorkSafe’s policies, procedures and activities in communicating, administering and enforcing the compliance functions of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act as they relate to:

  • Inspections
  • Investigations
  • Prosecutions
  • Enforceable undertakings
  • Research
  • Strategy and policy development
  • Education and awareness sessions

This should be undertaken where possible, through benchmarking NT Worksafe with appropriate best practice safety regulators in other jurisdictions whilst taking into account the context in the Northern Territory.


The Reviewer is independent to government and will undertake the assessment. The Reviewer will work closely with an approved reference group comprising industry, union and government nominees.

Reference group

The reference group will comprise:

  • three union representatives
  • three industry representatives
  • two ex officio government nominees (one from Treasury and one from Education).


The scope of the review is to:

  1. determine the appropriateness and effectiveness of the current organisational structure, systems and processes in the administration of public safety and compliance.
  2. determine the effectiveness of NT WorkSafe’s compliance regime and enforcement activities (including inspection, investigations and prosecutions), dispute resolution processes and policy development.
  3. determine whether NT WorkSafe has the appropriate balance of regulation of safety (including prosecutions and enforcements) and education and awareness across the Northern Territory.
  4. identify any organisational, management, systems or cultural issues that may affect the organisation’s ability to operate in a best practice model for safety regulators.
  5. identify any capability gaps that may exist with current structural and staffing arrangements.
  6. identify any legislative gaps that may exist and proposed remedies.
  7. consider specific issues such as whether an offence of ‘gross negligence causing death’ should be introduced and whether current penalty levels under the current work health and safety laws act as a sufficient deterrent to non-compliance.
  8. examine any further measures that can be taken to discourage unsafe work practices, taking into account the national review.
  9. provide an opinion on improvements required in the organisation to achieve best practice for a safety regulator both now and into the future, ensuring those suggestions can be funded from and within current resources.


The Reviewer will provide a final report back to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice by December 2018.

Discussion paper

Best practice review of workplace health and safety in the Northern Territory (875.8 kb)

Last updated: 24 September 2018


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