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 could go straight from where the alcohol was being consumed directly into the supermarkets to establish whether that alcohol might have been sold to people who were drunk already, and take appropriate action, that might have been a different matter. However, as this proposal stands, these people will not be able to do that because they are council officers who will deal with vagrants. This has happened because the government could not handle the problem. When constituents complain, members opposite will be free to disown the problem and point out that the money raised to solve it went to the local municipal council. The government did the same thing with the controversy over advertising signs in and around Darwin. Responsibility for that was devolved to Darwin City Council, leaving government members free to disclaim it. Whenever it is too difficult, this government palms it off on someone else. It is the same with health and education. When something is too hard, it palms the problem off on the federal government and then blames it if something does not work out. The government cannot make the difficult decisions. Members opposite cannot handle this because they are incompetent. CLP governments have had 20 years to do it. The 2 km law is the governments own legislation. The minister says that he is introducing this initiative because the 2 km law does not work and has not been enforced. Who should have been enforcing it? The Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services should have stood up and said that, as the minister responsible for police, he stands condemned for his failure to resource police adequately to ensure they are able to carry out their responsibility in relation to the 2 km law. The police will say that they lack the resources needed to enforce the 2 km law. The Liquor Commission says that it does not have the resources to monitor all the public areas where it is alleged that people are drinking illegally. The government has reneged on its responsibility to deal with the problem. Members opposite will jump up and down and I am sure that the NT News will carry a story on its front page saying that the NT government has solved the problem with public drinking by handing it over to the municipal councils. One might ask why it will not report frankly that the government has realised that it has failed in its miserable attempts to control public drinking, and that it has handed over responsibility for it to local governments. That is the real issue in this statement today. It has nothing to do with a new alcohol strategy and moving forward. Rather, it has everything to do with the failure of this government to control public drinking and public disorder. That is an indictment of the failure of members opposite. They cannot blame it on anybody else. The CLP has been in government, as it likes to tell us, for the last 20 years, and members opposite are doing this now because they have failed. It is our belief that the Territory government needs to take the responsibility itself and deal with this problem, not hand it over to somebody else. Mr REED (Health and Community Services): Mr Deputy Speaker, the hours that have been dedicated to the debate, in response to my statement this morning, illustrate clearly the strength of the concern that honourable members feel in relation to this issue. I will respond quickly to the member for Wanguri before he leaves the Chamber. I want to respond to him because he commented to the effect that the government is simply seeking to off-load this responsibility to the local government councils and foist that responsibility on to them. 3273