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 Reed: Yes. Mr EDE: You have? It would have said exactly what it said when I told it that the Santa Teresa community in my electorate was intending to introduce a similar system. The reaction was total outrage and horror. That is what we hear from the police, from the top all the way down, because the last thing they want is a series of private police forces popping up around the place. Bodies of that kind become uncontrollable. Does the government really want local and community councils to have their own police forces enforcing these measures, comprised of people who are not responsible to the Commissioner of Police under the Police Administration Act, and without the benefit of the structure for training and the support that the police force has, or that it should have if it were properly resourced? Does the minister really want to go down this other road - the American road? Mr Reed: You are a joke. Mr EDE: Given what they have over there, the Americans must have rocks in their heads. The numbers that the government is talking about will be a joke. If it thinks that one person in Tennant Creek, or one person in Palmerston, can have an effect on this situation, it is kidding itself. It is nothing more nor less than tokenism. Alternatively, it is the thin edge of the wedge. It has to be one or the other. Mr Adamson: Which? Mr EDE: You are saying that it is the thin edge of the wedge. I am saying, at this stage, that it is tokenism. I say too that it is a step down a very wrong road, and a step that we will all regret if the government pursues it. What powers will these people have? That is not set out very clearly. The only power we have heard about is that they will be able to empty out a couple of cans of beer if somebody has them in a public place within 2 km of a licensed premises. That is easy. Mr Adamson: The councils will give them the power. Mr EDE: Are the councils to start conferring powers now? Are councils to be given the power to provide people with powers of arrest and detention? The member does not know the council by-laws. The local government councils have no powers of detention under their by-laws. It cannot be done. If people are to have the ability to intervene in activities such as public brawling, it will take more than a tap on the shoulder and a request for the offenders name and address in order to send them a summons. The people required to intervene will need much greater powers than that. The police have those powers, and they have them because they are trained to use them and they know how to use them effectively. We need to provide more police to do the job that has to be done. We are all fed up with street violence. Tourists are fed up with it and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Territorians alike are fed up with it. It confronts people when they first come to the Territory. They are shocked when they see the violence that is occurring on our streets. It is not something that I would want my young