Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 10


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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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 17 May 1995 Mr ADAMSON: It does actually. I will answer that inteijection. This is a problem that I have been faced with since the first couple of days of my election to this place. While, in the day-to-day course of running an electorate office, we are faced with many problems throughout the electorate, the issue of unacceptable public behaviour is one that I have been confronted with almost on a daily basis. We are talking about unacceptable public behaviour but, at the same time, in many ways the standards of public behaviour have not changed for quite some time. What has changed perhaps is our tolerance of particular forms of behaviour. Mr Ede interjecting. Mr ADAMSON: The Leader of the Opposition walks in, and I am not really quite sure what he is saying. If he would like to repeat it, I would be only too happy to respond. What has changed is our tolerance for some of this behaviour. We have thrown up our hands in despair and simply allowed much of this behaviour to occur when we have all known that decent community standards demand that it should not be permitted. There has been some criticism, and no doubt there will be more, that the measure we are talking about introducing is somewhat heavy-handed. In fact, we have already heard some comments to that effect. However, this must be seen as simply one part of an overall package, a package for which the Northern Territory has been praised around Australia, and by no less an authority than the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia. I will refer to that a little later. There is no intention to impose a kind of macho response to a problem that we cannot eliminate. This is simply a small measure in an overall package that we believe hopefully may help in solving the overall problem. I see it as a solution that will help to protect the average decent person in the community, and that perhaps may even protect some of these offenders from themselves. I mentioned that the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia has praised the Northern Territory government for this package. Certainly, the results of comparison of our performance with that of the states cannot be disputed. In fact, a recent report by the council has shown that the Northern Territory is streets ahead in what it is doing in its attempts to curb the problems, both on a long-term basis, whether it be through counselling, public education and public awareness programs, or actually out on the streets on a more immediate day-to-day basis. A recent report by the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council stated that funding per head in the Northern Territory was $55.90. The next best was the ACT, at $8.73. I believe that the Northern Territory is not using bandaid measures, as it has been accused of doing, to fix this problem. This is simply a further progression of what is becoming a nationally-acclaimed program through our Living With Alcohol strategy. Another table relates to the revenue from alcohol and tobacco taxes. The Northern Territory returns a full quarter of these taxes into programs that are aimed at dealing with the problem - a full 25%. That compares to the next best which is 5.9% which, again, is the ACT. The Territorys effort is 5 times better than its best. I say again that this is not a bandaid measure, but simply another step, a further progression, in the response to what is, without doubt, a difficult problem to solve. 3225