Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003

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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





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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 1 May 2003 Kurduiu Committee Members: Rotation membership sourced from Ali-Curung, Lajamanu and Yuendumu Law and Justice Committee, Night Patrol and Safe House Services. Members represented at Kurduju have included: Yuendumu Otto Syms Jeanne Egan Biddy White Johnnies Williams Cecile Granites Tomas Rice Rosie Fleming Jimmy Marshal Grade Johnson Albert Wilson Jilly Spencer Peggy Brown Barbara Wilson Warren Williams Ali Curuns Majorie Hayes Gwen Brown Lionel James Geoffrey Small Charlie Poulson Miranda Brown Dr TOYNE: I would like to speak quickly, and finally, about the grog reforms in Alice Springs. Again, there has been a lot of talk, in the context of this extensive debate we have had on crime and social order, about what is happening in Alice Springs with the restrictions and complementary measures. Alice Springs, alongside Tennant Creek, are really the leading, shining lights - at least in the urban context o f dealing with these issues of substance abuse. We are on the road and we are moving forward with some benefit. A lot of the 18% reduction in assaults arises from the fact that these grog restrictions and complementary measures are starting to impact on peoples behaviour. I wish I could say exactly, in a case by case basis, how that all connects. We will not know that until we have a look at the evaluation of the first year of the grog trials and the operation of the measures in Alice Springs. What I am celebrating, though, is that we have nearly 80 fewer victims of assaults of various degrees o f seriousness than we had 12 months ago. That is moving forward; that means you have fewer Laiamanu Toby Morrion Martin Johnson Willy Johnson Jerry Jungula Norbert Patrick Rex Patterson Valerie Patterson Benny Mcdonald Joe James Lilly Hargraves Robyn Lawson Elizabeth Ross victims. The best way to care about victims is to make sure the assaults do not occur in the first place; minimise offences so we do not have as many victims as we have had in the past. That is our first and major commitment. Beyond that, we have to support the victims who are unfortunate enough to suffer from offences. The grog restrictions have freed up the police to do other work and that is impacting, along with the changed police operations, on the number of property offences are occurring. We have heard a lot of talk about Let us toughen up the penalties and put more of these people gaol. I can assure the House that the sentences handed out by courts under our new laws are 13% longer for property crimes, and 49% longer for the house break-ins. The courts are applying our laws as they were intended to be applied. The people we are putting into gaol at the moment are the serial property offenders, the sort of people who have gone into a life of crime and they will knock over may 60 households with burglaries. They are the type of people we are catching because the police are looking for them; the police are hunting them up; the courts are putting them in gaol; and the sentence lengths are becoming longer so that they stay in gaol longer. That is taking quite a number of the main offenders out of this pattern of crime. Those main offenders, on police estimates, are committing something like 80% of the crimes in those areas of offending. That is smart policing and smart use of law and punishment; we have to do that a lot more. We do not want to lock up people who steal a can of coke, we want to lock up people who have knocked over 60 houses with burglary. To summarise, I have said a number of things about the CLPs antics in the last three days. The CLP are in opposition now. It is good that they have a period of time in opposition because they have not given up a lot of their attitudes and approaches. They have to leam to be honest with the people of the Northern Territory again. They have to give up the arrogance that they developed over such a long period in government. All governments may have that danger, but we certainly know from the way that the CLP have behaved in the last three days, that they still have a lot to leam before they will be fit to take government in the Northern Territory. Madam Acting Deputy Speaker, I move that the motion be put. Motion agreed to; statement noted. 3984