Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003
Parliamentary Record 11
Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 dedicated, committed and hard-working members of the communities who are doing something about it, in partnership with the police and other stakeholders. I acknowledge that it will not be easy and it will not be for the want of trying. I heard some pretty nasty comments outside last night; comments which are not conducive to meaningful relationships between black and white people and, most certainly, not in the best interests of us all as we develop a very equitable and mature response to our problems. I was hoping that Madam Speaker would be present in the House, as I would like to applaud Madam Speaker, the member for Braitling, for her gutsy contribution in diffusing a potentially nasty situation and for sticking up for her community. I am also relieved that people like Commander Manison here in Alice Springs and Superintendent Steve Edgington in Tennant Creek performed such an important task in fostering partnerships and working towards a safer community for us all. Even out in the bush, there are small communities - member for Macdonnell, you had better listen to this and go down the track. Even out in the bush there are small communities like Ali Curung in my electorate that worked so very hard over a long period of time in developing appropriate cultural responses to excessive grog abuse, domestic violence and other associated offences. The member for Macdonnell says Yes, but does nothing about it. I want to pay tribute ... Mr Elferink: Effective management of a CLP program. Mr McADAM: So what whose it is? It should be supported. You should not be ... Mr Elferink: ... all sorts o f things, but you are neglecting to point out who started ... Madam ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: Members, order! Mr Ah Kit inteijecting. Madam ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Mr McADAM: I want to pay tribute to Gwen Brown, Maijorie Limbiari and many other members of our community who continue to work tirelessly on behalf of Ali Curung. This little community has done something about these issues because they do care, and because they believe it is their responsibility to ensure that a quality of life is enjoyed by their children and future generations. The Tennant Creek Youth Initiative and Safe Communities Strategy is another example of people working together to make their lives better and the community a better place to live in. As I have mentioned, it has not been easy but they keep working at it. The CLP and their Centralian-based members can leam from these approaches, rather than being negative. I say to the CLP opposition: stop pushing; stop practising the politics of fear. Excessive grog abuse has always been a problem, and it must be remembered that is was in Tennant Creek that the community did something about it by lobbying for the first restrictions in terms of accessibility and availability. Contrary to what the opposition says, it has made a difference. It is a more cohesive community. Sure, it does not solve all the problems, but the community continues to work at it - and that is the secret; you have to continue to work at these sort o f issues. I applaud the community in Alice Springs for going down the same path regarding accessibility and availability options. I say to the community of Alice Springs: do not be dissuaded by the negative opposition, because really they do not care. They are not interested in the welfare and the wellbeing of people who live in Central Australia or the outlying bush communities. Much has been said and written in respect of the children of Tennant Creek leaving to attend Shalom Christian College in Townsville and other interstate education institutions. I fully understand why some parents choose to take this option. They are no different from non-indigenous people who send their children outside the Territory for the same purpose: to undertake secondary education. We have also have to be honest and say that it must be o f concern to us, as a government, to address any deficiencies that exist within our education system. To this extent, I applaud the Minister for Employment, Education and Training for acknowledging these concerns and accepting the responsibility to provide eduction and training opportunities in Tennant Creek and other regional communities throughout the Northern Territory. This government wants to ensure that all young Territorians have access to appropriate and innovative programs, addressing their needs and dreams in their own communities. I congratulate the teachers of Tennant Creek High School and Anyinginyi Congress for the development of a specialised program for identified students to suit their individual needs. This is another great example of community partnerships assisting and developing young people in my community. The success of this program will, hopefully, serve other remote and regional centres throughout the Territory. 3974
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