Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 2 March 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 2 March 1994

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Parliamentary Record 25


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 - Wednesday 2 March 1994 believe that to be a reasonable proposition by the judge because, as he said, it would happen anyway. The tribe would find the opportunity and the person would be punished in this way. No doubt, that would seem somewhat barbaric to most people, but I take Chief Justice Martin's point. Nevertheless, when I heard about this over the radio, I thought that the situation is fraught with danger because, if something goes wrong and the the fellow dies as a result of the spearing, there will be an uproar in the community. Mr Manzie: The law applies, Denis. Anyone who breaks the law, breaks the law. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! May we continue? Mr COLLINS: In a sense, the tribal form of punishment has been condoned. If the person dies as a result of that punishment, even though that was not the intention of either Chief Justice Martin or the person inflicting the punishment, I would hate to see the publicity that will come the Territory's way. I am happy to give my support to the prison officers etc who are to oversee ... Mr Manzie: No! They were not to oversee it. Mr COLLINS: If the Attorney-General wants to rise to explain it all, I will be very happy to listen to him. In the meantime, I am having my say about feelings that have been expressed to me in the community. I am supportive of the prison officers who felt that they should not be involved in this matter because there might be problems with the administration of justice in this tribal manner. I believe I have made my point clearly and I will leave it at that. As a member of this Assembly, I wish to express my thanks to the prison officers who administer our prisons. I believe that they do a fairly good job at what is a rather thankless task. Having been involved with some of the problems that they have, I have come to appreciate far more clearly what they have to put up with, including the threats that are made against them and their families. I dip my lid to the prison officers and to the minister for his statement. Mrs HICKEY (Barkly): Mr Speaker, I wish to make some comments. I did not intend to comment, but the member for Nelson's remarks have prompted me to rise and say a few words in defence of some of the people whom she denigrated. I would like to make it clear that, certainly in my electorate, many Aboriginal people do a great deal to help themselves in respect of problems they find themselves in with the judicial system. They want to take action themselves. Certainly, they have to live with the problems caused by people in their own community. Believe me, there are no people harder on drunks and Aboriginal offenders than are Aboriginal people themselves. Indeed, the hardest attitudes are adopted by some of those who themselves are reformed alcoholics. Those people want to take strong action. I would like to indicate what the Julalikari Council in Tennant Creek hopes to do in relation to self help. It would like to see a system whereby offenders who have been through the criminal justice system as a result of alcohol-related problems are provided with detoxification and then handed over to the council. The Julalikari Council would take them to a rehabilitation centre that it wants to establish at a place called Cabbage Gum Bore that is some distance from Tennant Creek. It is not very remote, 11 374

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