Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007

Other title

Parliamentary Record 12


Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES Wednesday 14 February 2007 3850 imposes one set of values on one lot of people and another set on others. We have to be careful about that. The alcohol restrictions that have been introduced into Alice Springs have, in fact, caused problems for the town. Yes, we are seeing some benefits, but there are problems. Chief Minister, you might have been bit innovative and said that one of the things we can do, seeing there is so much litter created by bottles and cans, is introduce container deposit legislation. Do I see container deposit legislation in this paper for future generations of the Northern Territory? No. Would people in the Northern Territory like to see CDL? Yes. They have shown that very clearly in everything they have done at the shows and when there has been a survey. There was nothing in the statement to give any hope to people who might have some environmental issues and would like to see CDL. But no, it has been overlooked. She also talked a lot about education for Aboriginal students in bush communities. That certainly is one of the top priorities that I would like to see this government continue. I will watch with interest the introduction and implementation of middle schools. So far in Alice Springs we have had some positive feedback, but I still have not seen the government taking any strong action on attendance and truancy. I know the minister has issued a media release about community officers who are going out to community schools to consult with parents. We have to remember that we have legislation. We have an act which says that parents should send their children to school. If they do not, it is against the law. But we do not get that strong action from the department. For so long we have been saying: What about the kids in town camps in Alice Springs? How are they going to get to school? What are we going to do about them? I had a couple of letters from the minister last year saying: Yes, we are reviewing the truancy officer program, and they were going to do this and that. Did the Chief Minister mention that in her statement? Not at all. We do not see any strong action on making sure students go to school. Is there going to be any tracking of students from remote communities? When they leave that remote community and go into town or go to another school, will there be any tracking to make sure they go to school? I think not. If we are talking about employment for indigenous people, we must make sure they are educated. Unfortunately, they are not being educated. I know the Education minister went to Bradshaw not long ago to see how the Irrkerlantye kids are going, and yes, they are going okay. Quite a few of them have turned up, but he must also be concerned at the current policy at Bradshaw of these kids having their recess and lunch at different times from the rest of the school. It is of concern to me and I think it has been brought to your attention, minister. I hope you address it. If we are going to make students feel that they are part of our community, we must treat them as such, not differently. I suggest to the Chief Minister that she should have added a clause saying we will have a core curriculum within our schools that will give kids skills for when they leave school. We all know the curriculum is so broad at the moment that it is easy to forget the main purpose of why students are there. I would like to have seen something not just concentrating on the senior kids in remote schools, but the younger as well. The Chief Minister also talked about it being pleasing to see the life expectancy of Aboriginal women increase by three years and that infant mortality has fallen by 36%. That is good - very good - but where is evidence that the Chief Minister is thinking about our population growth and the fact that our population is growing older? What was in the statement to show that the government is providing for our senior citizens? Life expectancy for people in the Territory is increasing, not just for Aboriginal women. More seniors are staying in the Territory. That is to be commended, and we should make sure that they do. What do they want to stay? What incentive do they need? They want to feel safe and secure and to know they will have services to help them in their senior years. Certainly, we have some extremely good seniors organisations, but we need proper aged care facilities, and not just in towns, but in remote areas as well. Aboriginal Hostels do a great job in Alice Springs, but there is more scope for those services to be extended to the bush so that aged people do not always have to leave their homes to have the care they need. They should be able to stay in their communities and be cared for in an environment that makes them safe, secure, healthy and happy. I would like to have seen something about how this government is going to deal with the ageing population. Affordable housing was mentioned, as was housing for people in the bush. I noticed in the paper not long ago that there was a tender for 16 factory-built homes - which means either demountables or dongas - and it named the four destination communities for these houses. It is a good idea to set up an industry whereby you can erect these homes on communities, as long as the government is aware that these homes also have to be strong enough to cope with the number of people living in one house. Affordable housing on communities is good, but we should also be looking at affordable housing within our towns.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.