Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993

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Parliamentary Record 21


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




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 - Thursday 21 October 1993 to do the right thing in the community. Too many want to walk away and do nothing when they encounter wrong behaviour. Given what Justice Mildren has said, the citizen who does have the courage to prevent violent action or* something like this, could end up being charged with the offence of having used undue power. An awareness of that fact may well dissuade that citizen from taking any action. If we do not have the protection of the courts and the parliament to carry out a civic duty by taking some risks in trying to prevent further violence and other harm in the community, I believe the matter is urgent. This legislation is not difficult to understand, and I believe that we should proceed. Mr EDE: Mr Speaker, I rise to clarify the position of the opposition. In fact, we are not opposing ... Mr Manzie: I thought that you might have to do that. Your legal spokesman put a position that I did not think you would agree with. Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr EDE: We do not in fact oppose urgency formally. We are simply registering a complaint with the ... Mr Reed: That is not what your mate said. Are you overriding him again? Mr EDE: There was sufficient time for the Attorney-General to have supplied us with a copy of the legislation earlier. During the time that it has been available to us, I have been in touch with various bodies. We will detail the problems that they have with the legislation. There are areas that are not covered. The police will have real problems with administering this. We will raise those problems when we discuss the bill. However, this could probably have been sorted out without creating those problems if we had been given the legislation even a week earlier. They could have been avoided equally if, when the legislation was drafted in its present form, the Attorney-General had circulated it before the Assembly sat to enable us to work on it. That would have allowed for better administration of law and order in the Northern Territory, although unfortunately that is something that the Attorney-General does not appear to consider. Mr Speaker, whilst we will not formally oppose urgency for this bill, we would like the minister to lift his game in this regard. I ask the Chief Minister to counsel his Attorney-General against being the one minister of his government who seeks repeatedly to introduce legislation with urgency in this Assembly a couple of days only before he wants it passed through. As we go through this, we will make him aware of the importance of this legislation. We will indicate the problems with the bill and the improvements that could have been effected had we been given the opportunity to work on the bill before it was introduced in the House. Mr MANZIE (Attorney-General): Mr Speaker, in closing the debate on the motion for urgency, a number of points need to be clarified. Clearly, the Leader of the Opposition has been misinformed or has an incorrect idea about what has occurred. However, I will cover first the comments made by the member for MacDonnell. He said that I did not have the courtesy to tell the opposition about this bill and to give it a copy. We need to understand what has actually occurred here. On 28 September, which is 3 weeks ago, the court made a decision. I quote from what Justice Mildren had to say - and I pick it up in the middle of a sentence: 10 205

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