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 Mr TAMBLING: As the Majority Leader mentioned we are in a time of extreme changing social acceptances, values and mores and I think a quote from Alvin Tomer in "Future Shock" is rather relevant: "This one lifetime is the centre of history with as much happening in it as in all the previous lifetimes put together". It is very relevant at this time that we must look at the society in which we live and look at its diversities. We cannot categorise the society of Darwin or the Northern Territory into one group and I do not accept the statement of the honourable member for Stuart Park when he said that we were representing a minority group. It is not necessarily a group that is looking for the establishment of nudity or the establishment of free beach areas. The members from central Australia have approached this bill without the degree of consideration that they should have. In the original draft that was presented over a month ago there would have only been the need for the amendment of one word to have affected them. That would have been an amendment to drop the word "coastal". Therefore, they did not give that bill due consideration. I have had a wide cross-range of representation made to me from 2 extremes, from real naivety to extreme cynicism. In between, there is a group of people who do believe that they have the right to use a secluded area for nude bathing and I am sure that any Administrator's Council in determining a free area, whether it be on a foreshore, a river or a lake, will take into account the particular requirements oflocal government, town management boards and any groups that want to make representations in particular areas. The principal opposition expressed to me on this bill always seemed to come from a confusion between the definitions of what is nudity and what is sexuality. Man's main sex organ is his brain; 90% of all his sexual activity takes place there. The honourable member for Millner might take offence if suddenly the honourable member for Nightcliff and the honourable member for Sanderson are scratching their heads. He might feel there was an ulterior motive involved but that is for his own interpretation because nudity and suggestive circumstances and outright proposition knocks on the door of the brain many times a day. Coming to grips with nudity is a matter of looking at the society in which we live and not putting particular stumbling blocks in the way. I believe that we have 221 reached a time when it is appropriate to consider a bill such as this in the interests of the whole Northern Territory community, and free areas will be established depending on community response. Mr EVERINGHAM: The bill has my support. I did think it probably would be passed at this sittings but, when the member for Gillen rose to object, I considered that there was some merit in what he said because there is a great deal of differer..ce between this particular bill and the mere amendments, bandaids or amputations-or whatever they were going to be-to the Police and Police Offences Ordinance introduced by the honourable member for Nightcliff at the last sittings. They referred specifically to exemption from the offence of indecent exposure, by being naked on an area of coastal beach. Therefore, I felt that, if members wished to take this bill back to their constituents to have a look at, one month more or less would not make a great deal of difference. I am certain that the bill will be passed; there is an overwhelming majority in this Chamber in favour of it. There were other considerations in the back of my mind when I considered what I should do on the honourable member's motion. One was that, even as late as yesterday morning, I still had 2 drafts of 2 separate nudity bills, both of which appeal to me almost equally, and another month will give persons who wish to consider various aspects of the bill the chance to bring it to a peak of perfection so that we will not have to be tacking little bits on to it or subtracting little bits from it for the next half~dozen sittings of the Assembly. I am sure that the Sun Club, the persons most affected by the bill directly, will probably be glad of the opportunity to have a look at it themselves and perhaps offer us their suggestions so that these could perhaps be taken into consideration before the bill passes all stages at the next sittings. There is some opposition to the bill in various sectors of the community but it is a resigned type of opposition. So long as the ordinance is administered with some discretion by the Administrator's Council, there will not be any great outcry. Miss ANDREW: I speak very briefly in support of the bill. It is very interesting to note the lack of public interest in terms of the bareness of the gallery. It seems to indicate to me that people are quite willing to let a greater sense of freedom prevail. If this bill had come