Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

Other title

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





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 represent the greatest cause for the need for medical treatment in Australian children aged between 1 and 14 years. Tragically, 500 Australian children lose their lives as a result o f accidents each year. O f even more concern is the Territorys representation in these national figures. In the Northern Territory, between 1 and 2 children die from accidental injuries each month. It is indeed tragic to note that a child in the Northern Territory is 4 times more likely to die as the result o f an accident than is a child interstate. However, we can take hope from the fact that the most frequent causes o f these accidents are preventable. In Australia, the medical cost to the community o f caring for injured children is in the vicinity o f $200m every year. However, no price can be put on the pain and anxiety suffered by many o f these children and their families. Some will be left incapacitated and scarred for life. W e are indeed fortunate that many groups in our community are dedicated to the preservation and protection o f Territory children. One such organisation is KidsafeNT, formerly known as the Child Accident Prevention Foundation o f Australia. As members may be aware, Kidsafe is a national organisation with branches in every state and territory o f Australia. The organisation commenced operation in the Northern Territory in 1983. Kidsafe Australia is dedicated to preventing unintentional death and injury in children. It seeks to raise public awareness about child safety, to educate the community about potential hazards for children, and to carry out research into accident injury to children. Kidsafe is an independent, non-profit organisation. Kidsafe is the only organisation that takes responsibility for developing strategies to reduce the number o f child accidents. The Northern Territory Branch o f Kidsafe aims to bring about greater awareness o f the tragedy o f unintentional injury and to educate the community about ways to prevent accidents. It does this by conducting awareness campaigns to keep the community informed o f the issues related to injuries and the best ways to achieve better safety. Kidsafe also promotes improvements in the environment and in product design to make our homes, streets, playgrounds and schools safer places for children. Kidsafe staff work hard to encourage and campaign for legislative changes that will protect our children, such as pool safety fencing, compulsory use o f child restraints in cars, and compulsory wearing o f bicycle helmets. Overall, the organisation conducts and sponsors research aimed at developing an authoritative body o f knowledge on all issues related to child injury. Kidsafe works at national, state, territory and local levels in cooperation with government, industry, non-government and voluntary organisations, community groups and individuals. Kidsafe derives its income from investments, sponsorships, donations and fund-raising activities. Fund-raising activities are held in the Northern Territory with support from local businesses. The Northern Territory government has been providing operational support for the organisation since 1983 and financial support since 1991. The government provided funding in 1991 and 1992 to assist Kidsafe to develop information packages on child safety for use in the Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin areas. In 1993, the government provided office accommodation and operational costs such as phone, facsimile and photocopying services. In the 1992-93 financial year, Kidsafe was granted a Northern Territory health and community services health promotion grant under the National Better Health Program. The grant o f $20 000 enabled Kidsafe to carry out the pilot Injury Surveillance Project at Royal Darwin Hospital. The final results o f the survey will be released in the near future. Results from this project will have significant implications for the Territory. 1796