Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015

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Parliamentary Record 24


Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Hansard Office

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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 19 November 2015 7433 to the future of Knuckey Lagoon and the 15 Mile? It was split between the Minister for community affairs, I think it was, now Local Government, and the Minister for Lands and Planning. We did not get a response and the lack of that response is shown in the desperation of these people at Knuckey Lagoon. These people do not own their own houses; they are leased to Yilli Rreung. The houses are on Aboriginal Development Foundation land. There is no democratic committee in these communities. There are good people who are said to be the leaders on each community but none have been democratically elected by the community. There has been serious violence and a number of suicides on this community. This community is not out bush; it is five minutes from Karama shopping centre. It could be anywhere until a plane flies over and you realise it is next to Darwin airport. The government needs to take some decisive action. I know there are issues about a perpetual lease but why should these people not have the right to own their own house if they wish? They were the questions I asked two years ago at least, and of the previous government. Now you are seeing it come from the people themselves. There is a real issue that needs to be sorted. People are starting to become dejected about being given the opportunities to take control over their own lives, to own their own house, form a community where people who represent them are democratically elected and where they also have the right to say the area is not for certain people so they do not have people coming into that community who do not get permission to enter. That is one of the major problems. Some of these areas have a tradition, from many years ago, of people coming in and staying. One Mile Dam, which is also an issue that needs to be looked at carefully, was visited by people from Belyuen. My wifes family lived there. That was one of the traditional places they went to. The Knuckey Lagoon community has many people not exclusively who come from the areas around the Daly and Adelaide Rivers. A number of the young boys I used to look after would stay there when they left Daly River. The 15 Mile community has Maningrida people from Jabiru. Now people drift into all these places, but there are major social problems on those communities. There are people who are trying to do their best to raise their family and get their kids to school, but some of these communities are dysfunctional. You only have to go there and look at the amount of cans littering these places. There is a major problem with alcohol in these communities, so much so some of the houses have signs on them saying, This is an alcohol-free house, which must be hard to enforce. The government should listen to the people of Knuckey Lagoon and say, This is what we are going to do. We, at the very least, should talk to the people. I am not saying we bring something from the top down. What you need to do is talk to these people who have written this letter sit down amongst those people and work through the issues from the bottom up. You need a solution that is driven by those people but helped by the government. Why do people have to continue to live in thirdworld conditions at the 15 Mile 100 m away from the suburb of Johnston, with all the flashest houses in the world just across the road and the wall to block it from the Palmerston residents view? How can we say it is fine? I have been to open days at Knuckey Lagoon and could not believe the number of organisations that turned up. But does anything change? Nothing. It is time for decisive action. We now have a Minister for Indigenous Affairs, the Chief Minister. He needs to take control of this issue and do something positive for the people of Knuckey Lagoon and the 15 Mile. Mrs FINOCCHIARO (Drysdale): Madam Speaker, tonight I give my sincerest and most heartfelt thanks to the amazing staff who work at the Darwin Private Hospital Jabiru Ward. Seven weeks ago today my husband Sam and I were very surprised to end up in the Jabiru Ward of Darwin Private Hospital five weeks earlier than we expected. It was a pleasant and exciting surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. We were greeted by many friendly and some familiar faces, which made our journey to parenthood a warm and comforting one. Sam and I thank Marie, a wonderful midwife and family friend, for looking after us on Wednesday night as we puzzled our way through tests and more questions being raised than answered. On Thursday morning we were greeted by midwife Dee, who I know for her hard work and commitment to the Palmerston Football Club, of which I am patron. It made all the difference to me having you there by my side and your advice and skill was hugely important to Sam and me. As the day progressed we said goodbye to Dee and hello to midwife Alex, who took the baton. Alex did her very best at letting me sneak off the monitors against the doctors orders, but she always managed to coax me back and make me feel happy about it. By the end of the day I was