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 through a large number of programs, of which this is simply one that handles social breakdown and also attempts rehabilitation of the people involved. In my opinion, the ball is placed fairly and squarely in the hands of the city and town councils. The police and the government will cooperate. Resources will be provided. Help will be provided to strengthen the people involved in the program at the outset. However, the program will not work unless the drive is provided by the councils. That is where the challenge is placed directly in the hands of the councils. Certainly, I look forward to the commencement of the program in Palmerston. I offer my full support for it, and I commend the ministers initiatives to this House. Mrs BRAHAM (Braitling): Mr Speaker, I would like to speak briefly on this matter as it is something that has been of considerable concern in Alice Springs for some time now. When entering Alice Springs through Heavitree Gap, the first thing a tourist is likely to be confronted by is unfortunately the sight of small groups of people drinking and vast amounts of litter along the Todd riverbed. Certainly, for the residents of the town, one of the most frustrating aspects of living there is the antisocial behaviour exhibited in public, not necessarily by the residents of the town but by the transients from other communities who flock to Alice Springs because their communities are dry and they have nowhere else to drink. That there is a problem with antisocial behaviour has been acknowledged by many groups such Alice Springs Town Council, the Four Comers Council, Tangentyere Council, the police and so on. An article that appeared in the Sunday Territorian in November 1994 stated: Urgent Plea for Help in Todd River. Grog Crisis. This was a call from the deputy chairman of ATSIC, Charles Perkins, who wanted to have a meeting to thrash out a solution to binge drinking. He said: We need frank and honest talks with no holding back because the problem is only getting worse and is sucking another generation o f young Aboriginal people in. This is a problem for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and we have to stop it now before it becomes an epidemic o f violence and helplessness. He went on to say: It is not someone else's problem. It is ours. The whole town is suffering and the foundations o f our economy, like tourism, are going to suffer unless we act. This article stated: Early this month, the Opposition Leader called for more police to patrol the Todd River and for extra funding for the Four Corners Council to bring communities together and end the drinking and intertribal violence. We all know that this is not just a law enforcement problem, but very much a social problem that is affecting everyone. In this particular article, the town councils acting Mayor, Bob Kennedy, and Geoff Shaw, from Tangentyere Council, said that, although their advisory committee had achieved a great deal in recent years, there was a need to involve others to deal with the existing problems and to enable issues relating to the Todd and Charles Rivers to be 3255