Videos - NT Intervention

Retired magistrate Pat O'Shane has criticised the Intervention and called on the Abbott government to put more resources into Indigenous affairs. "It's racist, in a word," she said.

"It's discriminatory; it is not applied to other communities in this society."

Ms O'Shane said the Howard government suspended the Racial Discrimination Act specifically to implement the policy in Indigenous communities.

The justifications of above-average rates of sexual abuse were, she said, based on falsehoods.

"I'm a lawyer, I've worked in the Northern Territory and I've worked in NSW. I know about those issues. They are there. But the way it was being talked up at the time of this policy...that was supposed to be a major problem. It is not a major problem."

She said the Abbott government's primary focus for Indigenous communities needed to be health, housing, education and unemployment.

She urged the government to take a generational approach to Indigenous affairs.