Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - 23 April 1975



Debates Day 2 - 23 April 1975

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Parliamentary Record 3


Northern Territory. Department of the Legislative Assembly


Debates for 1st Assembly 1974 - 1977; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT; 1st Assembly 1974 - 1977




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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pages 215 - 227

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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 23 April 1975 as criminal assault, rape, etc. I still think it should be an offence but not perhaps one of this magnitude. I foreshadow also that in subclause (2) of clause 6 I intend to remove the words "sexually indecent" and substitute "or use language that is threatening, abusive, disorderly or sexually indecent". I feel that all people in a free area should behave in accordance with common principles. I have a great fear, perhaps unfounded, that dressed larrikins would attempt to enter a free area for no other purpose than the harassment of the people lawfully in that area who mayor may not be clothed. This is a 2-edged thing: people need protection both ways. I don't see that nude people in a declared area should be subjected to harassment by people who are clothed; nor do I think that people who are in the area and who are clothed should be subjected to any type of abuse by the nude people within that area. Therefore, I have tried to provide specific protection for all people who may end up in an area declared to be a free area. In clause 7, I have provided that the Administrator in Council may make regulations. Once again, these regulations must be tabled in this House and, if necessary, debated. I seek the passage of this bill at this sittings because the concept of free areas was introduced at the previous sittings. Although I have substituted this bill for the other 2, I have not altered the concept in any way other than to provide that it shall not be restricted to the coastal areas of Darwin. I hope that all members of this Assembly have had suitable time to refer this legislation to their constituents and seek community views. I have been offered nothing but support for the concept, not only from the Sun Club and other people interested in nude bathing, but from people who have said quite clearly, "I am not a nudist, but I know there are plenty of people who are and that is their business. If they want a secluded area, good luck to them' '. I move that so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent the passage of this bill at this sittings. Mr ROBERTSON: I oppose that motion. I can well understand the honourable member for Nightcliff's concern that she and the people who have obviously asked her to bring this bill forward have the maximum benefit of the so-called dry season. If it is held up for another month, they are going to miss that 217 period of freedom from the sea wasp. However, as it was pointed out to me by a distinguished member of the staff of this Assembly this morning, in my country we have bull ants; they have no respect for seasons and, if this bill goes through, the bull ants are going to have something more succulent to feed on. My point is that this bill is quite a departure from the previous bill, despite what the honourable member for Nightcliff says. The bill now affects all areas of the Northern Territory Mrs Lawrie: No, they have to be gazetted by the Administrator in Council. Mr ROBERTSON:. . . whereas previously it only applied to Darwin. Accordingly, the way the bill previously was, I had nothing to go to my electorate with and ,neither did other members. The bill to them was meaningless. It can now affect them directly but I have had no chance whatever to discuss this bill with my electors. I therefore oppose the motion. Mr TAMBLING: I am appalled that the honourable member for Gillen has not taken the issue to his electorate in the month that has been available to him. Mr Robertson: It had nothing to do with us. Mr TAMBLING: All members of this Assembly represent not only their electorate but the entire viewpoint of the Northern Territory and therefore they should canvass views and exercise their full responsibility with regard to any legislation that passes before this House. I see no reason for a delay to be granted on this occasion because the concept of nudity has been flying around for years. Mr Withnall: It's been flying around since Adam and Eve. ' Mr RYAN: I oppose the motion. It was at the last sittings that the honourable member for Nightcliff had a bit of a serve with me for putting through bills at all stages in the one sitting. Only yesterday we corrected this procedure which seemed to upset her so much. I don't oppose the bill but I certainly oppose putting it through at this sittings. Mr MacFARLANE: The remarks by the honourable member for Fannie Bay that everyone should have taken this to his electorate in the last month doesn't ring very true to me because only a short time ago we had this trouble with the Caravan Parks Bill which