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 Mr MANZIE: Perhaps it does not, but we were faced with the circumstance where it had been brought to our attention that our citizens were without a right that is enjoyed by Australian citizens in other jurisdictions. Mr Ede: No. Mr MANZIE: He can say no, Mr Speaker, but he can argue that later. The other point is that we were able to draw on the situation in the Australian states in terms of the codification of this power. That also enabled us to act reasonably quickly and with some confidence that what we were doing was correct. The member for MacDonnell said that I told others about the bill but not him. He may be miffed, but he should be aware that the government does not seek the approval of the opposition when it is drafting legislation. I am sorry that he is miffed. There has certainly been no conspiracy on my part, as he alleged, to withhold information from the opposition and to drop the bill on its members at the last minute. That would not happen. The member for MacDonnell said that the situation did not involve a problem for the store detectives, and he referred to the particular case. However, that is not the issue here. This concerns providing the power for citizens of the Territory to arrest people - a citizen's power of arrest. That is what is involved. It is not about whether the store detectives had a problem in a case that was mentioned by Justice Mildren because that is not the issue that is under discussion. Neither does this relate to the question of whether force may be used to protect life or property. That is not what the issue is about. As the member is fully aware, anyone has the ability to use force to protect property or life. However, we are talking here about a power of arrest. We are talking about the difference between someone catching a prowler and, on the one hand, showing them the door or, on the other hand, holding them until the police arrive. Mr Ede: That is not the argument. Mr MANZIE: Those are the facts. That is the difference. We are not talking about force. The member for MacDonnell said that we may use force to protect life or property, but that we may not use force to arrest people. We cannot arrest people who are committing offences against life or property. That is one of the reasons for it that I want to point out to him. He is in a tangle. We are not talking about the use of force. Mr Bell: That is not right. You have not done your homework, Daryl. Mr MANZIE: We will come to that when we get to the bill. There is a need to proceed with urgency on this matter because there is no power for a citizen's arrest. I must cover one last point. The member for MacDonnell said that he had sent a letter to me and that I had not replied to it. The letter did not invite a reply. It was a most abusive letter and one that, unfortunately ... Mr Finch: That is normal. Members interjecting. Mr MANZIE: Once again, the Leader of the Opposition needs to know that his opposition spokesman on law does not try to deal with these issues in a 10 207