Territory Stories

Debates Day 5 - 31 October 2018



Debates Day 5 - 31 October 2018

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Parliamentary Record 15


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Wednesday 31 October 2018 4803 In fact, there is a bus stop out the front, which the previous government decided it would not use and did not put a bus route there. There are times when exaggerations make it harder when you are trying to convince people that these facilities will be safe. The facilities are there for a good reason and the government and community are supporting the use of them to try to turn these young peoples lives around. As I said at the beginning, I am very supportive of a facility that will make a difference to young people. I want that facility to be empty. We can use it for a chook farm if we have to, but I would prefer it not to have young people in there if possible. That is probably pie in the sky. The boundary of my electorate is just on the edge of that area, as is the Member for Spilletts. I want to be part of something positive and to say that we have done our best to find a site fitting all the requirements that the government wanted. The sad thing for me is that I have not been part of anything. I have only been part of press releases. I have not felt like a useful member of this parliament, because I have spoken about youths and how we could solve some of those problems by sending kids out bush to work in national parks, where they can clear their heads. I have supported those processes year-in and year-out. I have supported youth facilities in the town. In this city, Palmerston and the northern suburbs, we do not have decent youth facilities, which can be built. I visited a facility in St Marys in Sydney. It was run by a group of brothers, who used to teach me. It was huge. There was volleyball, table tennis, pool, trampolines, indoor soccer and a cafe. The place was rented out during the day and there were weddings there. The kids helped organise it. There was music. It had a bus go right past it, and at 8 pm everybody went home. It was a big part of the community. I have always felt we are lacking in this area. I am not saying the YMCA does not do a good job, but sometimes we need bigger facilities to help young people and we do not really have those in the Territory. I will sum up; I have been talking for a long time. Minister, I support what you are doing, I just do not think the process has allowed the communityand that is why there has been a reaction from some parts of the industrial area around Pinelands. You have not involved the community. I hope that perhaps the government will change its mind, start again and see if we can involve the community. Maybe in the end we will get a better outcome supported by the community, which everybody wants. Ms WAKEFIELD (Territory Families): Madam Acting Deputy Speaker, I cannot support the motion by the Member for Nelson, and I will explain why. I acknowledge the comments by the Member for Nelson at the start of his speech. There is no doubt he has spoken about these issues in the Chamber on many occasions and has great corporate knowledge of them. I am more than happy to work with him on some of these issues. The Member for Nelson has never sought a meeting with me in my time as minister. I meet with the Member for Nhulunbuy, an Independent member, every sittings to talk through issues in his electorate like child protection, which is a significant concern in his electorate. I am more than happy to work with the Independent members of parliament and use the corporate knowledge that the Member for Nelson has. I am more than happy to meet regularly to talk about it. I am sorry if you have felt excluded from the process, Member for Nelson. As I said, I meet regularly with other Independent members. Working with government on solutions to long-term problems in the Northern Territory is one of the great advantages of being an Independent member. We are more than happy to do that. I will talk about why we will not support this motion. We have been very clear that we believe every Territorian has a right to feel safe and expect their homes, businesses and properties to be secure. Unlike the CLP, this government has a plan to increase community safety. It includes fixing the disastrous mess of a youth justice system we were left with. Members will recall incident after incident at the detention centres during the last term. The culture of punishment created angry and damaged young people, who we are still dealing with today. That is why we are so focused on creating safer communities by investing in and reforming the youth justice and child protection systems. We are acting because the previous government did nothing. The royal commission was called under the previous government and that government failed to act. It failed our young people and our community. We need a new facility that allows us to focus on pathways out of antisocial behaviour and crime and give better outcomes for young people and the community. Unlike the CLP, which kept moving young people from one unacceptable facility to another and never planned for or invested in a new detention centre, we have a plan. We have taken a comprehensive and thorough

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