Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003
Parliamentary Record 11
Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 the time and it does not really happen all the time. Here is the Chief Police Officer of the Central region. If the member for Macdonnell wants to get up and accuse his former colleague of misrepresenting the crime situation here in Alice Springs, I challenge you to do that in adjournment tonight. That came from Gary Manison yesterday, and I would certainly believe Commander Gary Manison over the local members here in Alice Springs any day of the week. There is crime in Alice Springs; there is too much crime in Alice Springs. However, if the community and the police get together and work hard, with the support of their local members, we will start to drive those crime rates down. They are already going down despite the claims o f members opposite. Just think what we could do in this community with a bit of positive support from those members opposite. An interesting quote was sourced by people in my office. In 1999, the CLP police minister, the member for Katherine, addressed a conference of Police Commissioners of Australia in Darwin on 24 May. They are trying to portray that crime is out of control in the Northern Territory since the Labor government came to office. In 1999, the member for Katherine said: We have the worst rate o f alcohol abuse in the country with a consequent impact on road fatalities, street crime, assaults and domestic violence. To try and portray that this has all happened since August 2001 is an absolute fallacy. What are we doing? We are trying to address the cause of alcohol-related crime in the Northern Territory. Talk to police in Alice Springs and they will tell you that over 80% of all the call-outs that they attend are grog driven and grog fuelled. So this government is trying to address the grog issue. This is why we imposed the alcohol restrictions and the complementary measures to try and reduce the supply of grog into the community, and we are seeing some positive trend results. We have done that, and I will give the member for Macdonnell some credit here; he has supported that initiative and got behind it. I give him credit for that. But we have done it in total opposition to the members for Greatorex and Araluen who would much rather support the alcohol industry than come to grips with the fact that the majority of crime in the Northern Territory is alcohol related. If we want to do something about crime in the Northern Territory, we have to address that issue. A member inteijecting. Mr HENDERSON: We have to address the causes of crime in the community, and I pick up the inteijection drug-related because, again, we have done the work. We have done the hard policy yards and have implemented the public policies, and we are attacking drug-related crime in the Territory because we acknowledged that it was important. Members opposite said that it was minuscule. They fought us tooth and nail. They would rather support the drug runners in our community by denying that it is a problem. Members opposite would rather represent people who supply drugs to our community in the courts, but we, as a government, will drive these people out of the Northern Territory. Mr WOOD: A point of order, Madam Speaker! When the speaker makes broad statements about members opposite supporting programs, he has to remember that we are not all of the same ilk on this side of the Chamber. Madam SPEAKER: Similar things apply to you. If you have some problem, you can always make a personal explanation at the end. Minister, you only have a few seconds left. Mr HENDERSON: I will qualify that with CLP members, not Independents. Crime in any community is a very complex situation. We have to address the causes of crime; we have to give our police the numbers and the resources to control the crime. We have commissioned an independent assessment of police numbers and have committed to putting more police into our police force if we need it. However, what we need is the community to get behind the police, not be talking down the police and the efforts that they put in. Gary Manisons words were on the public record only yesterday. He has portrayed the true situation of crime in Alice Springs, and those people who try and portray it otherwise are accusing the police of misrepresenting the truth. Visitors Madam SPEAKER: We will hear one more member before lunch. I want to acknowledge that we have in the gallery students from St Philips and-w ould they be Sadadeen Primary? Yes. On behalf of all members, a warm welcome to you. Members: Hear, hear! Ms CARNEY (Araluen): Madam Speaker, how happy I am that the member for Wanguri has participated in this debate. It is appropriate that I remind people in the gallery, and those listening, that 3953
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