The Northern Territory Intervention - An evaluation

In August 2007 the Howard Liberal Government enacted the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act, or, "the Intervention". Liberal politicians marketed it as a solution to problems within Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. These problems include health, housing, employment and justice.  When Labor was in power it continued the Intervention's major initiatives. This site analyses the issues the Intervention in its various guises has faced and its human rights implications.

The Intervention has undergone changes under successive governments since its implementation. One such change has been its 'reframing' by the Rudd government to focus the policy on 'Closing the Gap'. Click below to find out more about the Intervention, its evolution and development.


Evaluating the Intervention is not an easy task. Impartial data is difficult to find and there is a mass of complex and conflicting information. However, by looking at the Closing the Gap targets that were set by the Government and considering human rights concerns, we have provided our assessment. Below we give major features of the Intervention a score out of 10.  We also score it for compliance with human rights.

Issues with Evaluating the Intervention – how did we work out our grades?

The intervention and closing the gap campaigns: have they been achieved? CLICK on the tiles below to find out how we have rated each major feature of the intervention. We have also included information on the goal of lowering incarceration rates, which has been controversially left out of the close the gap targets.

CLICK on the tiles below for how we rated compliance with human rights.

Read our report as a PDF