Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994
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
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 Mr POOLE (C orrectional Services): Mr Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise this afternoon to speak in support o f the ministers statement. The safety o f children in the Northern Territory is indeed a matter o f great importance. At home, at school, in the streets, in the playground or on the sports field, particularly in this the Year o f the Family, the special needs o f our children have been highlighted. As was mentioned in the statement, Year o f the Family grants were awarded to enhance the services to children, child-care agencies and playgroups. The grants awarded to all playgroups in Alice Springs were used largely to purchase safe toys and equipment. Even in the purchasing o f such play equipment, the advice from Kidsafe is o f vital importance as we all want our children to have access to safe playgrounds and play equipment. We look to organisations such as Kidsafe to research accidental injury and potential safety concerns and to educate the wider community on its findings. As Minister for Sport and Recreation, I strongly support the principles o f Kidsafe. Sports organisations are encouraged to develop greater awareness o f safe playing environments, accident prevention and injury treatments through the inclusion o f relevant safety awareness in sports administration courses, coaching accreditation courses, sports medicine and St John first aid courses. I am sure my department will be interested in the results o f the Injury Surveillance Project and will incorporate any additional information it produces in the sport and recreation course that it runs. Whilst Kidsafe directs its recommendations at childrens facilities, the safety strategies suggested are applicable equally in sport and leisure areas. Sunshade, impact-absorbing surfaces, correctly-fitted personal equipment and safety harnesses and helmets are simple measures that can be adopted readily to reduce the incidence o f injury. An area o f particular concern was the recent call to abolish the compulsory wearing o f bicycle helmets. Commonsense prevailed and all children and young people up to the age o f 17 are still required to wear helmets. Kidsafe educational material is widely used already in water safety programs and Kidsafe posters and kits are on display in many sports clubrooms. The recent WISAR weekend encouraged all sports organisations to focus on the particular needs o f children at play whilst their mothers participated in their chosen sport or recreation. I am pleased to hear that Kidsafe is keen to increase its input in developing educational programs and safety handbooks to educate teachers and students about ways to prevent injuries in the playground and on the sports field. O f particular interest to me, as Minister Assisting the Chief Minister on Central Australian Matters, is Kidsafes intention to focus on safety issues that are particularly relevant to children living in remote and rural areas. Knowledge o f safety and survival skills in the outback is as vitallyimportant to our young children as it is to our adults. I need not remind members o f the tragic circumstances that arose about a year ago when a young fellow was lost in the bush in the Dunmarra area. Whilst I would not imply that he had not been taught bush survival skills or anything like that, it highlights the importance in this vast country o f ours for our children to be educated as to what to do should they become lost in the bush. Becoming lost is probably one o f the most common problems that arises with young children, and they do not have to be out bush to become lost. I saw an example the other day that highlighted this. A young fellow was standing in the middle o f the mall screaming his lungs out. He had stopped and turned around and mum had carried on walking, 1821
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