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 Medical research indicates that, in some communities, up to 90% o f the children have an ear infection within 5 weeks ofbirth. Aboriginal men between the ages o f 30 and 35 are dying at 10 times the rate o f other Territory men. This means that their children will go through life without that parental influence, without those relatives. The cycle o f ill-health, poverty and death becomes so much a part o f a childs environment in some communities that it is certain to be perpetuated. I have been on communities where parents become concerned and take their children to health clinics if the kids do not have suppurating ears. Equally, there are communities where children have streaming noses. Teachers, other educationalists and health professionals do a great deal to try to ameliorate those problems - for example, through the nose-blowing programs etc in the schools. Certainly, in relation to educational outcomes and the long-term health of those children, there are major and continuing problems in many o f the rural areas in the Northern Territory. The opposition certainly welcomes the ministers statement. Personally, I believe that, while he confined most o f his remarks to the Darwin area and to the issue of injury and accident prevention, had the ministers statement been broader, it would have had more relevance for the whole o f the Northern Territory and have been a subject o f debate for people in the rural areas and down the track from Darwin. Clearly, accident prevention, illness in children and safety for children are relevant matters for every parent in the Territory, be they in Darwin, Alice Springs or elsewhere. I now have the information from Kidsafe, but 1 have not had an opportunity to read it. However, I note that all the material is in English. I appreciate that Kidsafe has a limited budget, but I believe that, if it were able to publish these leaflets in languages other than English, that would be welcomed by the ethnic communities ... Mrs Padgham-Purich: Maggie, English is the language o f the country. They can learn to speak English. Mrs H IC K EY : That may be so. Nevertheless, communication is what it is all about. We would all prefer to see children kept safe rather than becoming victims of accident or injury simply for the sake o f the publication o f a leaflet in another language. That approach is preferable to saying that it is bad luck for people whose communication skills in English are poor. 1 certainly reject the comment by the member for Nelson. We are coming to the end o f the Year of the Family The Northern Territory is improving in respect o f the isolation factor that has caused many families to pull up sticks and move back to their extended families in other places. The Northern Territory is becoming an area where families are settling. We are seeing more older people coming here, and that is always good. Kids love to have their grandparents and their aunts and uncles around them, and we are seeing more and more o f that. Clearly, we are providing an environment that welcomes people to the Territory and that supports them. In turn, we are seeing support for children. Likewise, in education, we are developing a family of schools in the Territory enabling children to move readily from one school to another. The Territory has a mobile population. Certainly, public servants are shifted around the traps in many instances and, where they see uniformity in curriculums and outcomes in our schools, 1804