Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999

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Parliamentary Record 20


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




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 - Tuesday 23 November 1999 of Nhulunbuy, Frank Heath. Without him I would still be of no fixed address. I saw former Gove region teachers, Kerry Walker and Cheryl Wright on a SBS television show recently featuring the Christmas Island Workers Union. Cheryl, who was my band 2 senior teacher when I began teaching at Nhulunbuy Primary School in 1979, and Kerry went to Christmas Island in either 1980 or 1981. Obviously they never left there. I thought they both looked well and it is probably 18 years since I had seen them. It was good to see them pop up on TV. I would like to express my concern again about the lack of Parks and Wildlife officers in Nhulunbuy. We recently had a sighting of a crocodile, reported in the paper as estimated to be 5 to 6 metres in length adjacent to Rainbow Cliffs early this month. A member: A monster! Mr STIRLING: It certainly is, thats the local paper report, a fairly reliable report. Rainbow Cliffs was where a Melbourne tourist, a visitor to the town, was taken by a crocodile in about mid- 1980 so it is a known croc habitat, and certainly it does raise the concerns of residents about safety in the water. I do want to acknowledge a number of residents for outstanding achievements in the community the first being Lorraine Loftus, a former work colleague of mine going back quite some years to the mid-1980s. She received the annual Rotary vocational services award for recognition of her commitment to work and thoughtfulness to peers. Over two dozen nominees were put forward this year; the quality of these were exceptional. Lorraine has been with several government departments for 22 years and is currently with Education at the regional office. Well done, Lorraine. The CWA of Nhulunbuy recently responded to a request made by the Nhulunbuy Hospital for dresses for stillborn babies. The CWA purchased and donated the necessary materials and Eva Cantrell, a CWA member, donated the lace and gave of her time to sew 12 beautiful dresses in 3 different sizes. The dresses were then presented to the sisters at the hospital. Luke Hutchinson, aged 14, returned from the Australian Secondary School Swimming Championships in Brisbane where he won a bronze medal for the 200 metres freestyle event. Lukes medal tally now stands at 118, won through competitive swimming events. Megan Niven was one of 11 people chosen from around Australia for the original design of Teddy Bear Craft. Megan has now been commissioned by a Mudgee company, Beary Cheap Bear Supplies, to design a bear which will be in the year 2000 catalogues. Megan has been approached by other companies who want her bears in their shops and has several awards from festivals held in Brisbane and Sydney. Nhulunbuy recently had an outbreak of Cryptosporidium, an infection caused by a minute protozoan parasite causing vomiting and diarrhoea. This disease is incredibly infectious. It spreads when hands, objects or food become contaminated with the faeces of infected people or animals and then taken into the mouth. Transition can also occur from swallowing contaminated pool water, though it does not breed in water. In the past 21 days, 39 symptomatic cases have been notified to the disease control unit with 13 confirmed positive with the infection. Children under 5 are particularly susceptible to the disease. The Nhulunbuy Corporation took the responsible decision to empty and refill the town pool, although there was no evidence at all that the pool was the source of infection. They simply wanted to ensure that the pool did not become an amplifier of the disease. Environmental health did a great job in containing the outbreak with the number of cases dropping off over the last week. About 100 cases per year are hospitalised. Of these, most are Aboriginals from Aboriginal communities. The Neighbourhood Centre recently suffered a setback A cut in funding from $54 000 down to $25 000 has caused the centre to cut back on activities programs and office hours and it has to look to alternative sources. I m currently waiting to hear back from the federal government as to whether there can be any assistance from that quarter. As Nhulunbuy is served by the town administrator and partially-elected town board, it is not regarded as a local government body although it performs the same functions. It means that Nhulunbuy does not share in the Commonwealth Grants Commission funding, although our population of 3700 is included in the calculation of the figure received by the NT government. Accordingly, the corporation does not have finances with which to assist the Neighbourhood Centre as other local governments would. The Neighbourhood Centre currently offers services such as vacation care for school students,

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