The Northern Territory news Fri 28 Nov 2014
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28 2014 NEWS 13 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA TERRITORIANS are being reminded about the dangers of drink-driving, with the Christmas Sober Bob campaign launched yesterday. The campaign was launched by V8 Supercars driver and Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris, and Territorian and Geelong AFL star Steven Motlop for RADD. They were joined by representatives from the NT Police, Fire and Rescue services, St John Ambulance, and the Australian Hotels Association. Morris, who has travelled around Australia and the world, said the drinking culture in Darwin was one of the strongest in the world. People in Darwin like a drink, there is no doubt, Morris said. Its part of the culture obviously the weather is hot, people work hard in the heat and they like a beer at the end of the day. Morris said thankfully, the drinking culture was changing. Its no different to smoking 20 years ago it was cool then, but not now. People dont like being around smokers. Now, drink-driving is uncool to your mates. Theyre not going to think more of you for driving drunk. Weve got to get people thinking about that. Motlop said the opportunity to be a role model in the community meant a lot. You see a lot of tragic things happen when people drink-drive, he said. If you drink-drive, youre putting others at risk and you will be caught. In the 2013-2014 financial year, 2871 Territorians were caught drink-driving. THE Governments strategy on its controversial $7 GP fee is in complete disarray with senior officials on Wednesday night briefing journalists it was dead only to have ministers back the policy yesterday. And there are strong indications patients will now face an upfront fee of $37 to see a GP. At least one coalition MP, Queensland Senator Ian MacDonald has threatened to cross the floor to vote against the fee in the Senate. And the Australian Medical Association president Dr Brian Owler has described the health Minister Peter Dutton as being petulant for refusing to acknowledge the fee lacks the support of the parliament, the population or the profession. The Coalition does not have the numbers to get the $7 fee through the Senate, with Labor, the Greens, crossbenchers and at least one of its own senators against the move. There has been extensive speculation this week the Government would ditch the unpopular fee before Christmas as part of a strategy to clean off barnacles that were costing support in the polls. However, Mr Dutton yesterday said the Coalition was still negotiating the measure. Two days after ruling out bypassing the parliament to implement the measure Mr Dutton said he was looking at all options to impose a price on GP visits. Mr Dutton has sought legal advice and says he can use regulation to bypass the parliament and cut the Medicare rebate by $5. This would slash the income of bulk billing doctors and could force them to introduce a fee that would have to be $37 or higher. The patient would then go to Medicare to receive a rebate of $32 leaving them $5 out of pocket. Senate Leader Eric Abetz also labelled the co-payment a good policy. The Governments policy on the GP co-payment remains, he told ABC radio. GP payment is still alive By SUE DUNLEVY and JENNIFER RAJCA V8 Supercars driver Paul Morris, Sergeant Craig Dunlop and AFL star Steven Motlop say if you drink, don't drive have a Sober Bob instead Picture: IVAN RACHMAN Sober Bobs your best mate when youre into festive spirits By DAMIEN McCARTNEY Ministers backflip on advice that policy was dead Mr Dutton said he was looking at all options to impose a price on GP visits Bonus for five independent schools PROJECTS for five Top End independent schools will be given a boost of almost $740,000 as part of national infrastructure scheme. Canteen facilities, a sunsmart learning space and added wheelchair access are some of the benefits students and staff will enjoy. Solomon MP Natasha Griggs hailed the upgrades. These funds will ensure students at each of these schools have the infrastructure necessary to help them get the most out of their time at school, Mrs Griggs said. St Johns Catholic College will receive $269,400 to refurbish a canteen facility on the senior campus while MacKillop Catholic College gains $188,500 to fitout toilets and change rooms for students. St Marys Catholic Primary School has $159,164 to create a safe school entrance, including wheelchair access and $84,534 goes to St Andrew Lutheran School to replace a water main, water meter and fire hose reel and box. Holy Spirit School will use $37,000 to build an outdoor sun-smart, multidisciplinary learning space. The Territory schools were included in the list of projects supported by the Capital Grants Program, specifically for non-government schools. Marriage and divorce both take a fall FEWER Aussies tied and untied the knot last year. New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows 118,962 couples got hitched in 2013, a decrease of 4282 on the previous year. The divorce rate was also down 47,638, which was 2279 fewer than in 2012. There were children involved in close to half the number of divorces. The median age for divorce was 44.8 years for men and 42.2 years for women, while 12.1 years was the median duration from marriage to divorce. Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, who wrote the book Maybe I Do: Modern Marriage and the Pursuit of Happiness, says the divorce rate is still too high despite the 4.6 per cent decrease. Stable families are the cornerstone of a cohesive and functioning society, he said. Mr Andrews, whose wife has worked as a marriage educator, is concerned about childrens education, health and job prospects being affected by their parents divorce. The Federal Government has been handing out $200 marriage counselling vouchers to couples as part of a 12month stronger relationships trial program. The ministers office said 100,000 vouchers were on offer.