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 implementation of the 2 km law. For years, this piece of legislation has collected dust. The police have been reluctant to implement it. I may be wrong, but I suggest that they have been reluctant because of the copious paperwork involved with each arrest. When they do make an arrest and the matter proceeds to court, the offenders get away with only a rap on the knuckles and offend again. The cost to the police and the courts to implement the 2 km law - and the prison system if some of the culprits were to be incarcerated - would be unbearable. This proposal will not add any extra burden to existing programs. The member for MaeDonnell described the proposed system as obtaining police on the cheap. Surely, with all his logic - and he tells us he is intelligent - he has to admit that it would be pointless to have a highly-trained brain surgeon do general practice. Nor would he want a fully-trained teacher to be the cleaner at the school. That would be a waste of valuable human resources. If the proposal includes powers of seizure, without the return of supplies taken from the people breaking the 2 km law, there will be a greater incentive for those people not to drink in public places. As a former member of Alice Springs Town Council, I recall that we agonised over what we could do to improve the visual impact of the entrance to the town. We agonised over what we could do to ensure that the town was a peaceful and safe place for all its residents and for the many thousands of tourists who visit the town. Aboriginal organisations are calling out to their own people to stop antisocial behaviour. These organisations have put forward ideas which help to curb the problem, but they cannot control the problem entirely nor can they control the itinerants, using only their own resources. They need the whole community to act in concert to address the problem. The member for Nelson says that it is not her problem. She says that it is not a problem for the whites. I believe that is idiotic. Any problem in society is the problem of each of us and the society as a whole needs to address it. Black leaders, such as Geoff Shaw of the Tangentyere Council, are asking all of us to join with his people in fixing the problem The mainstream population is already paying for the problem. We pay in the form of increased petty crime, the attack on our sensibilities, the increased cost of insurance, the personal abuse and sometimes bodily harm, the increased workload for health care professionals, and the list goes on. We must be ready now to do our part. We cannot say simply that it is not our problem, but that it is their problem and they can fix it. I agree with the member for Brennan in that, at times, I have great difficulty in accepting anything that the member for Nelson says. The concept of self-autonomy goes too far and to the detriment of our society of which she is a member. With a backup of existing resources within the councils, the night patrols and the police, this program will work. The public wants this to happen. There is no doubt that the people of Alice Springs want it. I recommend that members support this statement. Mr SETTER (Jingili): Madam Deputy Speaker, there is no doubt that antisocial behaviour of this nature has been rampant in our communities, from Darwins northern suburbs right through to Alice Springs, and indeed I am sure at Nhulunbuy, Borroloola and elsewhere. The public has become very frustrated over it. As you do yourself, I receive calls at my electorate office on a regular basis ... 3263

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