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 I take this opportunity to pass on thanks and appreciation on behalf o f Territorians and parents in the Northern Territory to Dr Alan Reuben and for the work that Dr Ian Humphries did as the immediate past president o f Kidsafe. I also thank Coralie Matthews, the secretary and public relations officer o f Kidsafe. Together with other people involved in that organisation, they have done a fine job for Territory families. Dr Reuben was in the gallery this morning while I delivered the statement and he heard the contributions o f a couple o f members who spoke to the statement. It is pleasing to see such people take that level o f interest in these matters. While I am thanking people, I take the opportunity to thank Chris Spargo, our project officer with the Department o f Health and Community Services, who has been most professional in the information that she provided for the drafting o f this statement. The provision o f such a large amount o f information involves a great deal o f work, She has done an excellent job and is another fine example of the people o f very high calibre whom we have in the department to inform Territorians of the departments activities. I believe we can all be very proud o f that. The member for Barkly referred to the Injuries Surveillance Project, as did another honourable member, and also to toxic materials. She touched on the fact that a program is. in place in Alice Springs whereby the council has an annual program through which householders may hand in toxic materials. The member for Wanguri likewise mentioned the benefits o f such a program. I have no problem with the program. The fact that it has been established and is working in Alice Springs seems to indicate that it could be done in any local government area in the Northern Territory. From the comments by the member for Wanguri, I wonder whether the Darwin City Council is trying to pass the buck and avoid putting such a program in place by trying to involve the.W ork Health Authority. If the program is working in Alice Springs, it should be possible for it to work in Darwin. The member for Barkly represents the people o f Tennant Creek in this Assembly. Before being elected to this parliament, she was an alderman on the Tennant Creek Town Council. If anyone had an opportunity to extend the program from Alice Springs to Tennant Creek, it was the member for Barkly as an alderman o f the Tennant Creek Town Council. Perhaps she might like to take the opportunity now, as the local member, to pursue the matter with the council and see if she can make some advances in that regard. We heard a number o f diverse views in relation to pool fencing. Clearly, it is an issue that generates considerable interest and concern. In the debate today, we heard a number o f views as to how the problem can best be solved. On one extreme, the member for Nelson asserted that it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone apart from the parents of the children. She appears to believe that they have the capacity to watch their children during every waking hour. As a parent, I am not sure that that is always possible. I certainly agree with many o f her remarks in relation to parental responsibility. However, I would have to decline to support some o f her more extreme comments. I do not believe I need to refer to them again because honourable members are aware o f the types o f things to which she referred. Certainly, there is a need for a high level o f responsibility on the part o f parents and I believe that was reflected in my statement. I found it a little unusual that the member for Nelson was suggesting that governments should not interfere any further in the raising o f children because, at the 1828