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 members to take the opportunity to express our views on matters that are o f interest and importance to us. In relation to the suggestion that my speech could have been more broad-ranging, I believe we need to look today at the number o f issues that were raised, both in the statement itself and subsequently by the members who spoke to it. If I had incorporated in the statement all the matters raised by members, and I suppose that could have been done, I would be still on my feet delivering it. I am not sure that members would be very appreciative o f such an approach. The fact that the statement has generated such a wide-ranging response indicates that it has been a very worthwhile process. The member for Barkly intimated that the government might perhaps do rather more. There was mention o f a one-off grant o f $34 000 to employ staff for Kidsafe, but no doubt there is always more that government can do. One is heartened sometimes by the response one receives as a minister to the actions that one takes on behalf o f the government. I must say that I was heartened in just that way at lunchtime today when I attended a function at Royal Darwin Hospital during which I had the pleasure o f unveiling a mural in the Isolation Paediatric Ward. Over a long period o f time, the staff, principally nursing staff, raised some $22 400 to have the mural painted, and it is a very extensive mural indeed. Whilst that does not relate directly to this statement, whilst at the hospital, I had a conversation with one o f the doctors, Dr Ian Humphries, who is the immediate past president o f Kidsafe. That conversation was heartening and related directly to this statement. He asked if a rumour that he had heard was correct: that funds had been allocated by government to employ a person permanently for Kidsafe. I was able to confirm that, only an hour or so prior to our conversation, I had announced that allocation in the Assembly in this statement. It was very satisfying to hear and see the level o f appreciation that Dr Humphries expressed. I do not believe people in such organisations have high expectations o f the government. Naturally, there is an expectation and a hope that the government will assist where possible, but most people to whom I have spoken, who provide excellent services to the community through such organisations, are very much aware o f the budgetary constraints faced by government. Just as they have limitations on their ability to deliver services to the community, as sensible people, they appreciate that there are limitations on the amount o f assistance that the government can provide to their organisations. That seemed to me to be very well illustrated by the remarks made by Dr Humphries, who is a paediatrician, to me at lunchtime today. I am sure that the assistance that the government is providing in the form o f office space, office equipment and $34 000 to fund an officer to work for Kidsafe on a permanent basis will have enormous benefits for the Northern Territory. We will see a higher level o f awareness generated because of the higher level o f activity that Kidsafe will be able to undertake. I must say that it is very pleasing to be able to come to arrangements o f this kind with people like Dr Humphries and also Dr Alan Reuben with whom I met only a couple o f months ago to discuss the preparation o f the report on the survey conducted at Royal Darwin Hospital to determine the level o f child accidents and consequent admissions to the hospital over the last year. 1827