Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 19 October 2016



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 19 October 2016

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Parliamentary Record 1


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 65 to 124


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 Wednesday 19 October 2016 104 good waterholes there today. They had interfered with the inhabitants, who had been there for a very long time, and created conflict. They retaliated by pushing back and stealing some food. The white settlers then retaliated, disrupted some of their camps and shot one of them. They further retaliated and speared two of the farmers. There had been other allegations of atrocities which had occurred, including the stealing of women and other things. They sent out the constabulary and arrested the Aboriginals concerned, took them to Geraldton and tried them, sent them to Fremantle on a ship, found them guilty of murder, brought them all the way back in chains to the very place where they had speared the farmers, gathered the whole two tribes, and hanged them in full view of their families. Now I know why there is so much anger in that community today. Now I know why, when I go to the Royal Commission public hearings, there is such anger that cannot be resolved with recommendations. Now I know we have to go deeper to resolve these things if you want to unlock the problems we face. That community of Mullewa is still in the grips of the pain of that event. Those families absorbed that and could not quite understand it. It affects them to this very day. That is why an inquiry and investigation has its work cut out to go further than those previously have gone. I have begun to see these things from different perspectives. I heard, yesterday, the speeches that were made here. As someone of my age, I have heard many of these speeches before in the new Burke, Martin and Henderson eras. Then there was the Mills era and the Giles era, and everyone said the same things. It is all pretty exciting. I have made many new year resolutions, and I am sure you have too. That excitement of a new year. We will get fit. We are going to lose weight. The year is going to be great. But reality kicks in. On both counts I have been disappointed, because the reality of the challenges we face are enormous. I hope we are able to remove the scales of partisanship from our eyes to see beyond ideology to the people we are endeavouring to genuinely lead and to make a difference to. That is the challenge I apply to myself. After going to the hearing the other day I thought, That is all squared away. We have been able to describe what the problem is. It is the system, the government, the parliament, the legislation and the lack of funding. Off we go; we are fine. I had to ask myself what the one thing I can do is that would make a small difference. Unless we personally buy in there will be no real difference. The decision to leave the Country Liberal PartyI have been part of a number of organisations, and some of them have admirable core beliefs and the most up-to-date constitutions, but they are controlled by people of ill-will and clever and selfish agendas. The outcome, despite the quality of the constitution and the admirable core beliefs, is devastatingly heartbreaking. Conversely, I have been part of apparently chaotic organisations that have incomplete, incoherent mission statements and constitutions, but they are filled with humble people of goodwill with a desire to serve, and their achievements are monumental. The point is that people make the difference. It is not parties, politics or ideology. At the end of the day it is people. We have talked about self-government, constitutions, different Acts of Parliament, parliamentary systems and so on. People created them all for a particular reason. I made a decision to leave the Country Liberal Party not because I am against parties but, in its case, I could give no more. Many have asked me since whether I would return. Those on the other benches ask whether I will or not. I will not. Many from the Country Liberals, the conservative side, have asked me if I would. To them I say no. Ms FYLES: A point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker! I request an extension of time for the member, pursuant to Standing Order 43. Motion agreed to. Mr MILLS: Thank you. I will not overindulge. I am getting towards the end. My message to the Country Liberal Party is that rather than seeking me to assist or be part of something my involvement will be directly with my community and providing practical assistance in this parliament where I can. For those who have an interest in the party, your job first is to do some deep soul-searching to answer the question, How did it get to that? What are the underlying cultural issues that have shaped the organisation? What role can you play in bringing about change? Give yourselves at least six months of serious soul-searching before you even think about asking such questions of other people. Those

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