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 I give credit to Mr Bemie Valadian who has done an enormously useful job in Darwin over the years in trying to support people living in what I guess are called town camps in the Darwin area. He also tries to work with and assist people who drift into town and camp on Casuarina Beach, the Nightcliff foreshore and other areas around town. He assists them to be accommodated in some of the more appropriate locations that are available around Darwin for these people. Over the years, he has usually talked with the people, has found out where they have come from and how long they will be in town. He has worked to relocate them. I give him credit for that because it is a thankless task attempting to address issues of that kind. Interestingly, for the first time, some threats of violence have emerged in the Nightcliff area. Whilst the member for MacDonnell was speaking this morning, the Northern Territory police were actually at Nightcliff talking with and relocating people who were camping illegally and drinking along the Nightcliff foreshore. That occurred in response to representations that I and my office had made to the police. Whilst the member for MacDonnell may have chosen to say that the problem exists there at this time because of a reduction in police services, I can assure him that it is not a new problem at Nightcliff. He is welcome to come to Nightcliff and jog along the foreshore. It is a wonderfully friendly place, but this is not a new problem, nor is it occurring at this time as a result of any reductions in police services. The ALP candidate may have discovered it happening only recently, despite the fact that he has lived there for 10 or 15 years. He might have thought he could grab a few headlines, but actually the problem has existed over a number of years and I have been working for a long time to address it. It has been addressed again on this occasion, and I am sure it will need to be addressed again in the future. I am equally sure that other members are aware of similar situations in their own electorates. I do not normally try to make a political or public issue of such matters. I prefer to have them addressed practically in my electorate but, if the opposition wishes to raise them in the Assembly, I will deal with them appropriately in here as well. Concern about such behaviour is expressed to me by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents throughout the Northern Territory. In many areas, such as Tennant Creek, Katherine and Alice Springs, community programs are emerging. Some of the programs include night patrols and sobering-up arrangements. Many of these programs, such as the night patrol in Tennant Creek, are already having a positive impact on antisocial behaviour in the town. Others, such as those in Katherine, are still in an embryonic stage. There has been considerable discussion in Katherine as to how the social misbehaviour problem in the area should be addressed. The Katherine Combined Aboriginal Organisations, the Katherine Town Council, officers from my department and the Office of Aboriginal Development are working to develop programs and some protocols of behaviour in the town as well as attempting to find means by which the long-term unaccommodated Aboriginal residents in the Katherine area may be accommodated appropriately. We are examining protocols of behaviour for people when visiting Katherine and the further development of programs that have been attempted in the Alice Springs area. I give credit to the Four Comers Council, particularly to the work of people like Geoff Shaw and others in the Katherine area who are making contact with the Aboriginal traditional leaders in the 4 comers of Alice Springs in an effort to tell people that, when they go to Katherine, there are certain ways to behave. We are keen to continue working to develop those types of programs. 3251

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