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 In the Darwin CBD, we have had the ongoing problem of the long grass people and others who have continually harassed tourists and the good citizens of this community as they have gone about their business in the mall. I am pleased to note that, a year or so ago, the police introduced foot patrols in the mall and that went a long way towards solving the problem. I wish to talk about Darwin because it is where I live, it is where my electorate is and it is where I have had the most experience. I have noted a gradual increase in this problem over the last 5 years or so, in particular in the northern suburbs. However, it is a mobile problem. It will be in one place one day and the people are moved on and, the following day, it will be in the next suburb. My personal experience is that the problem is most likely to be found around the shopping centres in the northern suburbs, particularly at Casuarina. The member for Casuarina mentioned the problems that he has been experiencing near his electorate office which, for better or for worse, is adjacent to the social security office in the Casuarina Square area. People tend to congregate there when they come to collect their cheques which are quickly cashed and spent on the casks of wine that we have heard about today. The problem has been ongoing in the areas surrounding the shopping centres at Wagaman, Jingili and Moil in my electorate. In fact, 5 years ago, Darwin City Council adopted a policy of installing iron gates on all the public toilet blocks and locking them, with the result that people could not access the toilet blocks. In my electorate today, people cannot use the public toilet blocks. That was done because those facilities were being used as places to sleep in, to defecate in, to fornicate in ... Mr Palmer: To defecate in a public toilet is okay, Rick. Mr SETTER: Not if you do it on the floor, Mick. It is fine if you do it in the toilet bowl but, in these cases, people defecated repeatedly on the floors and the councils employees were not impressed with having to come in day after day to clean up that type of mess. It was not on, and the short-term solution was to lock the toilets. If people want to use them, they need to obtain a key. All that infrastructure is unable to be used. It is an increasing problem. The water gardens were mentioned a moment ago. People go there ... Mr Perron: If they are game to. Mr SETTER: If they are game to indeed. There is an ongoing problem in the vicinity of the Arafura Centre in the member for Nightcliff s electorate. Recently, there has been a very bad problem in Wagaman. I have received numerous complaints over the last 6 months in relation to a group of 20 or 30 people congregating in a laneway between Amsterdam Circuit and Trower Road. They gather there with the casks of wine that they have purchased from the hotel at Casuarina. Women and children, who have to walk through that laneway to access the bus terminal or Casuarina Square, are accosted. I do not know that anybody has been assaulted at this stage, but certainly people have been abused verbally, asked for money and subjected to a range of other indignities that they should not have to tolerate. My office has contacted the police and Darwin City Council about this situation on numerous occasions. As I said a moment ago, the police hate to go out to address this social problem because they believe they are paid to do 3265