Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

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Parliamentary Record 6


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 23 November 1994 bleaches etc from cupboards that are accessible to very young children. The likelihood that these children will experiment is very high. Despite the fact that many o f these chemicals and products have so-called childproof lids, my children were able to remove such lids reasonably quickly from the age of about 3 years. This is an area that needs to be examined. I am aware that many governments and municipal councils interstate operate a toxic waste collection survey once a year. It would be o f value if we undertook something similar in the Northern Territory because that kind o f collection program provides all residents with the opportunity to dispose o f any toxic materials and poisons that they have stored in their homes and which may be surplus to requirements. The government would provide a valuable community service if, with the cooperation o f the councils, it promoted the concept o f operating a collection service o f that kind. I gather that Darwin City Council is very encouraging in its response to moves by the member for Wanguri for the introduction o f such a collection service. Pool fencing is a contentious issue in the northern suburbs o f Darwin. I believe personally that Darwin City Council could do far more in relation to pool fencing. I believe also that the Northern Territory government has failed to apply sufficient pressure on the council to bring it to some point of reasonableness on the issue. I note that the minister agrees with the Kidsafe approach in his ministerial statement. I hope he is making that position clear to local government councils, not only in Darwin but elsewhere, and that he is applying what pressure he can to obtain a firm position from Darwin City Council on the issue. While it is the responsibility o f pool owners to ensure that the pools they build are as safe as possible, many tragedies have occurred as a result o f children gaining access to pools. Such tragedies are dreadful and it is something that we need to address. Uniformity o f isolation fencing is a contentious issue. It is my belief that we need to agree on a benchmark for what is considered a safe surrounding for swimming pools and that benchmark should be applied across the Territory to ensure there is the uniformity we require in the standard o f pool fencing. Certainly, the opposition would be happy to join with the government to apply pressure on the councils to address this problem. I am pleased that Darwin City Council is taking a stronger approach on the problem o f vicious dogs, although I must admit that I do not believe it is necessarily enough. Once again, there is probably a need for community education in relation to the vulnerability o f children to these animals. Community members must remember that what would constitute an attack on an adult could be a vicious mauling or worse for a child. Being taller and considerably stronger than children, adults quite often are able to withstand such attacks. I was bitten on the calf by a couple of dogs not very long ago. For a small child, an attack at that height would probably have been at the throat level and could have ended in tragedy. Mrs Padgham-Purich: I will tell you what you can do next time, Maggie. Mrs HICKEY: Good. I will consult with the member for Nelson about what to do should it occur again. These dogs crept up on me and took me by surprise, and I suppose that is usually the case. I did not see them coming. I must join the member for Wanguri in referring to another issue that demonstrates the hypocrisy o f this government. I refer to the death o f Mark Halliday who died because 1801