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 Returning to the Leader of the Oppositions call for this to be a matter for the police and for the police alone, he certainly gives the police a great deal of support when those same people behave in an antisocial manner by attacking the police and trashing their vehicles. When that happens, he immediately bags the police and calls for an inquiry. Mr Ede: When? Mr MANZIE: He really deserves the condemnation o f ... Mr Ede: Author? False! Mr MANZIE: ... members because his approach is abominable. Drunken and unruly behaviour in public places brings harm to people, and it causes considerable upset to people in the community. In almost all cases where this kind of behaviour occurs, grog is the catalyst and statistics that have been kept by police reveal that an alarming percentage of cases relating to domestic violence, motor vehicle accidents, assaults and violent deaths are fuelled by excessive alcohol consumption. As the minister responsible for the police, I am reminded constantly of the enormous resources dedicated to offences by a very small percentage of the Northern Territory population. Statistics indicating that one offender may have been placed in police protective custody more than 200 times in a single year provide an insight into the frustrations felt not only by the average law-abiding citizen, but also by all the people in councils, government and community organisations who are trying to overcome these problems. Government agencies, volunteer groups and community councils have devoted time, money and effort to combat this problem. Certainly, while the efforts of so many are to be applauded, it is obvious that these resources are often stretched to breaking point and further support is needed. Support is needed through legislation and action, not the ridiculous assertions by the Leader of the Opposition that 2 men in a Toyota will replace everything that is being done in the Territory in this regard. Any visitor to Alice Springs must be extremely concerned at the situation in the area of the Charles and Todd Rivers which should be highlights of that community but are totally out of bounds to any law-abiding citizen. The activities of the drinkers in those areas cause great concern to European and Aboriginal communities alike. Listening to some of the Aboriginal leaders, it is clear that they despair as to how they can make changes in those areas. The local Aboriginal people in Alice Springs, the Arremte people, would like to be able to walk along the riverbanks in the town in which they live, but they do not do so because they are afraid of being assaulted. The same applies for other residents in the town. People are afraid to move around in the most scenic area of their town. Nevertheless, the Leader of the Opposition says that the government is trying to leave the problem in the hands of 2 men in a Toyota. It is simply ridiculous. In the past 2 months, in my role as Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, I have initiated discussions with various bodies that have an interest in overcoming the problems in the area of the Charles and Todd Rivers. I have had discussions with people from the Arremte and Tangentyere Councils on the scope of the problem and the best means of clearing it up. I pay tribute to the conviction displayed by the Arremte and Tangentyere Councils and, in particular, the night patrols working in the river areas. I pay tribute also to members of the 3235