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 design o f many objects in the home can be o f concern. As the minister said, no government can protect everybody from everything. However, there is a need to avoid obvious risks. Clearly, if power points have holes big enough to stick fingers in, they pose a danger for very young children. It is quite difficult to teach very young children about the risk posed by things that may be quite lethal. For that reason, we attempt to design things to be safe. As an aside, when members were talking about situations where people do things that obviously are dangerous, that reminded me of the saying that the only difference between men and boys is the cost o f their toys. When someone set out to organise a game in which people were to drive cars at speeds in excess o f 200 km/h up and down the Stuart Highway, I am surprised that Kidsafe did not come in and say: If you have toys like that, you should not be playing with them at that level o f speed because you are likely to kill somebody. Swimming pool safety is an issue that Kidsafe has been pursuing for some time. I have a specific interest in this issue because I am a swimming pool owner in an area that comes within the Darwin City Councils fencing guidelines. I know that they have changed on a couple o f occasions. In some ways, I agree with what the member for Leanyer was saying in that we have to be a little careful that we do not attempt to use controls and guidelines as the sole means o f protecting our children. M r Poole: Have you fenced your pool? M r BAILEY: Currently, my pool does not have a separate isolation fence o f the kind advocated by Kidsafe. It has been approved by Darwin City Council, but I believe the pool was installed in about 1983. I have 2 concerns in relation to this matter. The first is that people may be given a false sense o f security if they are led to believe that young children are safe simply because there is a fence around the pool. That applies particularly with elevated houses or houses with surrounding verandahs when people are not actually observing children who they believe are playing near the pool. From about 2 years o f age, my child could and would climb oyer a pool fence with no problems at all. He placed his toes each side o f the bars, and up and over he went. Thus, we work basically now on the rule that the children are not permitted anywhere near the pool without there being an adult present to supervise them. Another problem that could confront myself and many other pool owners is that we have quite a high cyclone wire fence between ourselves and our neighbours to the sides and rear o f our property. While there is dense foliage on both sides, I believe the fencing does not actually comply with the Australian Standard which requires what may be a lower fence but with vertical bars only. I gather that, if we made an across-the-board change to the rules and required everyone to comply with the Australian Standard, I would have to replace the fences on 2 sides o f my property with what I consider to be inferior fencing. I suspect many hundreds if not thousands Darwin residents are in that situation. However, that does not take away from the point that safe fencing is needed, and I think that requirement should apply across the Territory. If we drew up sensible guidelines 1816