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Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007

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Parliamentary Record 12


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




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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 Wednesday 14 February 2007 3864 off the grog, and they are enjoying that. That is a lifestyle that should be celebrated. That was the sort of thing that was promoted very strongly through Living with Alcohol, and it is important to change that culture because it changes the demand. Then there were the control measures, which were legislation and regulation. Those control measures were put into effect to reinforce the cultural changes. These are some of the principles that applied, honourable member who made the inquiry by interjection, in Taiwan ... Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Blain, you have one minute. Mr MILLS: Yes, okay, that is fine. There is much more that should be said, and I know that other members are raring to go and they all have great contributions to make. The third c was care, and that is the treatment. So it is the change of the culture, the putting in of the controls and, ultimately, the care that is provided. They were the three elements of the Living with Alcohol framework. I urge any honourable member who is interested in this, as they obviously are, they are all going to have a talk, to have a look back at that. It provides an excellent framework. The measures are there to inform the good intentions of this government, which is embarking on its endeavours to deal with this issue, with the support of opposition, I have to say, which makes it difficult for you politically because you like to have us in a different spot so that you can attack us and take your attention from the real issue. Nonetheless, I digress. Ms SCRYMGOUR (Natural Resources, Environment and Heritage): Mr Deputy Speaker, it was good to listen to the member for Blains contribution. He spoiled it towards the end when he said we like the political point scoring. I disagree with that because on the issue of alcohol abuse and the impact on our communities and families, there is agreement across both sides of the Chamber. It is an issue where we need to stop the politicising and playing politics because it is important. The impact of alcohol, both use and abuse, and how we might be able to work together to try to address it is critical. The silent victims in a lot of this abuse are our children. I know that the Leader of the Opposition is very committed and has spoken quite passionately in the past about the impact of that abuse on our children. It does not matter what political ideology any of us have, at the end of the day, the abuse and impact of abuse on children gives rise to the same view. We all agree that something needs to be done. I support the ministers statement. His opening line was: one of the greatest challenges facing the Northern Territory is alcohol abuse. I could not agree more with that. All of us in this House agree about the impact of alcohol use and abuse, which we see with our families - I know I see it within my own family - our friends, and on many of our remote communities, our towns - it is everywhere amongst our constituencies. There is a problem there on which we all need to work together to try to address. The result of this use and abuse can be seen with the horrific levels of violence that we see against our women and children, although there are instances where this violence from alcohol abuse can be from women to men. There is a lot of discussion about that. I am seeing it more and more. Certainly, it is a small representation, but it should not be dismissed. I have seen men being physically assaulted, quite badly, by women a number of times around town. I picked up a number of studies and went back through this because I forget the countless times that I have stood in this House and talked on the issue of violence against women. I stand here, very passionate, and will take whatever means as a member representing particularly indigenous women and the terrible plight that some of them go through. I am also not blind to the emerging trend of violence with our women against our men. Moreover, we should look at the trend of violence perpetrated by women against women. In communities, womens violence against other women, particularly older women against younger women when they are intoxicated, is certainly an issue that needs to be looked at and not dismissed as it is just women, jealousy, and pushing it to one side. It is assault against another person, but it is increasing and it is something that needs to be looked at because the incidence is on the rise. Since 2001, we, as a government, have worked quite long and hard at addressing this issue. I know the previous Minister for Racing, Gaming and Licensing was responsible for a great initiative in setting up the Alcohol Framework. That certainly set a very positive framework, a better way forward in trying to get the issues of alcohol sorted out. There are issues that needed strong leadership. I know that being part of a government that has shown great leadership in this matter has been one that has not come without its controversy or criticism from various groups and sectors about the rights of the individual. We went to the last election saying that we would bring in the antisocial behaviour laws. I remember the first time I talked as the Chair of the select committee inquiring into alcohol and