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 Choking and other accidents can be prevented if we take a little more care. Thus, if people are buying a toy for a child at Christmas, I urge them to look at it in the light o f child safety rather than something that is a pleasure for them to give. Another area o f controversy at present, particularly with the school holidays coming up, is fencing o f swimming pools. Although we have by-laws in most o f our major centres that require fencing around swimming pools, all too often accidents continue to occur, and they occur even in pools that are fenced adequately. It seems to me that no matter how strong the by-laws are, they alone will not prevent swimming pool accidents. Let me give an example. Some time ago, a small child wandered away from a room at the Oasis Motel in Alice Springs and almost drowned in a pool. The Alice Springs Town Council asked the Oasis Motel to abide by the by-laws and install fencing around that pool, and that was done. What happened only a few weeks ago? A child was saved from a pool at a motel that had a fence around its pool because, even though the pool was fenced adequately, the child had still fallen in. What I am saying is that fencing alone will not save children around swimming pools. More than that is needed. We need to think about teaching our children to swim at a very early age and, in the Territory, there is very little excuse for that not to happen. There are plenty o f opportunities for parents to take children to pools for learn-to-swim classes where children are taught to swim from infancy. Certainly, that has been introduced into our schools, and we should ensure that all our children have learnt the necessary survival techniques. However, simply learning to swim also is not the total answer. In addition to the fencing o f pools and teaching children to swim and to help themselves in the water, adequate supervision is needed when they are near water. We are all very aware that many o f these accidents have occurred in our pools simply because the children were not supervised adequately People say that they cannot keep their eyes on their children every minute o f 24 hours a day. However, it does depend on the age o f the child. Let us face it, responsible adults will ensure that they do not place their children in situations where they may injure themselves simply because the parents cannot be bothered to keep their eyes on them. Thus, let us be quite safe this summer in relation swimming pools. Let us not rely only on our neighbours having fenced their pools but also take steps ourselves to ensure that our children are trained to swim adequately and that we supervise them well so that that split-second injury from falling into the pool cannot occur and we avoid having another fatality on our hands. The member for Barkly spoke about hearing loss and she mentioned the Silver Bullets used by the Department o f Education as classrooms for children. I believe she is confusing the Silver Bullets with hearing loss. We all know that there was a reason for the use o f the Silver Bullets. With the Territorys mobile population, Silver Bullets have served us well over the years in that we have been able to transport them to wherever they have been needed. The hearing loss among young children in the communities is a result o f their lifestyle, hygiene and nutrition and not seeking medical attention sooner. What the member for Barkly should really be promoting among her constituents is the need for a better lifestyle, for better hygiene and for parents to take their children to the health care sister as soon as a problem arises rather than waiting until pus is pouring from the childs ears, as