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 cause the death o f their children. There are even parents who seek actively to kill their child. The minister referred to pool fences and installing mats in public play areas. Those are fine measures in themselves, but they place responsibility for the childs welfare on the community. I had my children by choice and I looked after them because they were mine. There were not as many in-ground pools around when my children were young. When I took them to other peoples places, I looked after them. I did not expect people to build fences around their pools to keep my children out o f them. They were my children and my responsibility. Unfortunately, child deaths are involved, but I do become tired o f reading in the press about parents who unfortunately lose their toddlers and babies in swimming pools. Usually, the child has not walked down the street and drowned in a neighbours pool. M ost frequently, it has drowned in the pool at its own home or at the home of friends o f the parents where the family is visiting for a barbecue or other social gathering. The attention o f the parents is diverted, and children can move with the speed o f light when you do not want them to. In most instances, the fatalities occur in the parents own pool or in a friends pool It is the responsibility o f parents to look after their children, not o f the people who have pools. I will repeat that again and again. When my children were young, we could not afford an in-ground pool. We had an above-ground pool which had a ladder up the outside and another ladder going down into the water. I am not patting myself on the back, but I accepted responsibility for my childrens welfare. When my children were at home, before they were old enough to go to school, I knew where they were at all times - and I mean at all times, day and night. When no adult was present, the ladder leading up to the pool was taken away. The children could not access the pool. That measure also kept the dogs out o f the pool and therefore served a double purpose. The honourable minister referred to traffic-related accidents. Why are young children out on the roads? Mr Reed: Sometimes they are in cars. Mrs PADGHAM-PURICH: We come to traffic again. Why are these toddlers and young children on the roads? They are on the roads because their parents are not looking after them. Their parents have not closed the door or the gate. They have simply let their children roam free and, if they are knocked down in the road by a vehicle, the driver becomes the worst person in the world. For the rest o f his or her life, the driver will carry the stigma o f having killed a child. However, that has occurred because the parents failed in their responsibility to care for the child The minister mentioned children in vehicles. They are the parents responsibility, not mine, not yours, not anybody elses. It is the parents responsibility as to whether they restrain their children or not. Any sensible person knows that you do not put heavy, sharp objects in a car that can move around if you brake suddenly or if you have an accident. You restrain everything. Certainly, that includes humans first o f all, including children. Once again, it comes back to the parent. 1809