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 the government failed to deliver on its stated safety intentions. The government dragged the issue out for as long as it could to keep the heat off itself. It is thanks to the persistent and courageous efforts o f the member for Wanguri that the Hallidays are receiving any kind o f justice at all today. No minister o f this government should feel terribly proud o f that little effort. The ministers statement contained a message o f support for the Playgroup Association o f the Northern Territory. Frankly, I believe he had a bit o f a hide to do that. He has refused consistently to fund the association except for some one-off grants from the Sport and Recreation Development Fund Instead, he has chosen to provide some funding through Year o f the Family moneys to individual playgroup organisations. Mr Reed: O f which they have been very appreciative. Mrs HICKEY: I am sure they have, minister, but certainly they are looking for more. I believe the peak organisation needs funding to ensure that all playgroups progress and expand. It requires very little money here and in its Alice Springs office. Funding could go toward the development o f appropriate storage facilities, the central purchase o f necessary and expensive books and equipment for all playgroups, and secretarial support. It also could enable the Playgroup Association of the Northern Territory to adopt a much more pro-active outreach approach to the community. Social isolation is one o f the most difficult factors facing families when they come to live in the Northern Territory. Playgroups have a very important role in assisting it overcome this social isolation. It is the theme of childrens safety from more than simply accidents that I would like to expand on for a moment. We know that social isolation can lead to the disintegration o f the family unit. At worst, it can lead to family violence. Even in its mildest form, it may well result in people leaving the Territory, thus subjecting themselves and their children to the trauma o f moving. It results also in the loss o f those families to the Territory. Family violence is a major problem in our society. I congratulate the government on every effort it makes to overcome family violence and I urge it to do more and more. Attacking family violence means endeavouring to change the long-held and firmly entrenched attitudes o f some people, mostly men, who believe that they are not part o f a family but that they own a family. In these circumstances, the spouse and the children are seen as chattels. This leads to the I can do what I like with my property attitude and to family violence. Such attitudes have to be changed. We must ensure that the perpetrators o f family violence are dealt with severely and effectively. We should be working also to change the attitude o f men towards women and children. I believe the safety o f our children will be enhanced when we start educating boys and girls about the right to respect from their peers. When we start showing adolescent boys that adolescent girls are human beings and not objects, that they have the right to broad career choices and that they are the equal o f their male counterparts, we will get somewhere. I believe the media in the Northern Territory needs to lift its game in this regard. Constantly, we see in the media images showing women as vulnerable and as the 1802