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 problems they have with resources and the difficulties under which they are working. After we had been through the building and looked at problems of space, crowding, storage, chairs that were falling to bits, and the impossibility of getting any resources to secure firearms in vehicles etc, we went to have a look at the lock-up. I do not know how many members have actually seen this lock-up. It is situated at the rear of the police station. Entry is through a main door and, on the right-hand side inside are video systems, as is the practice now given the concern over Aboriginal deaths in custody. In front, there is a courtyard and off to the left is another, larger area with a number of open cells around it. If you go straight ahead into what is in fact the womens section of the lock-up, the first cell on the right - about the length of the bar in this parliament and twice as wide - is the juvenile detention centre for Alice Springs. When I was there, it was occupied by 2 juveniles - an Aboriginal lad, who would have been about 13 years of age, and a non-Aboriginal lad who was possibly a year older. Their view over a 24-hour period would have been of great interest to them. From where they sat, they had a clear view down to what is called the tank. This is an area where, if a woman is brought in drunk or has fouled herself, she may be placed to be stripped and cleaned up. It is in a section where women, who are brought in under protective custody, are often violent and abusive. This is the experience that juveniles held in that detention area are treated to. Their accommodation is not what Top Enders have come to expect; they have a very fine facility in the Don Dale Centre. Perhaps this detention area is all that the good citizens of central Australia are considered worthy of. It is totally inadequate. I challenge the minister to give an authorisation to the 7.30 Report to take its cameras in there on a day when nobody is being held there to allow the public of the Northern Territory to see the facilities that he has provided in this regard. The police are disgusted and angry that that this is what is provided. The sergeant who took me around is a man with many years experience and he was disgusted that this is all that is provided by way of a juvenile detention centre for Alice Springs. Mr Poole: It is not a juvenile detention centre. Mr EDE: There were 2 people in there. What is this government doing about it? It has closed down one section. We do not have a juvenile detention centre in Alice Springs, other than the cell that I have described. The minister, who also has a responsibility for central Australian matters, should be ashamed that, after all this time, that is the extent of what he has been able to secure for Alice Springs in terms of a juvenile detention centre. That is it. That is what they put up with until such time as they are moved to the Don Dale Centre. How long are they there for, Mr Speaker? Sometimes for appreciable periods. Mr Poole: You would not have a clue about w ha t... Mr EDE: I was there, and you were not. You chickened out on the meeting because you knew what the police would say to you if you had gone there. Mr Poole interjecting. 3300