Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - 20 August 1975



Debates Day 4 - 20 August 1975

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Parliamentary Record 5


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 457 - 498

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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 20 August 1975 that we have our share of alcoholics in Darwin. The alcoholic is a cross the family bears the best way it can. It is a dreadful position for a family to be in. However, place this crisis family on a block with another family which has no alcoholic member; how do you affect the second family on the block? If ever there was a need for a detoxification centre, that need has been trebled and quadrupled because of the peculiar living arrangements Darwin people will have to accept for the next five years at least. There are a couple of items outside my electorate on which I would like to comment. I query the proposed bunding of the swamp at Leanyer. I will be asking a question on notice that a full explanation of that particular item be tabled in the Assembly. Where in the Leanyer Swamp is the bunding to take place and what is its purpose? Honourable members may be aware and may be less interested, that Leanyer Swamp happens to be an area of ecological significance. Unfortunately, it has been used mainly as a dump but there are many people in Darwin aware of its other activity. One wonders what purpose the bunding has. At long last, we see the widening of Trower Road Nightcliff to Rapid Creek Road at a cost of $600,000. I hope someone will drop Tom Bell a post card in Scotland to tell him that at last his dream is to come true and that horror stretch at last is to be widened and straightened. One would hope that the large proportion of fatalities which have occurred in the past will no longer be a feature of our traffic life. We see that there is to be erected at Wulagi a juvenile training centre at a cost of $195,000. I congratulate the Government that it is providing a large amount of money for something that is needed as much as a detoxification centre. What form will this juvenile training centre take and who made the recommendations on that form? I have been engaged in several committees which have some expertise and I have had a happy association with members of the Darwin community who have had tremendous expertise in this rather fragile area. Unhappily, I have also seen a proliferation of committees dealing with j uvenile facilities and other prison facilities, for both male and female adults. The composition of these committees leaves me to wonder if any juvenile training centre which they recommend will have any relevance to the local scene. By and large the membership 481 of the committees is restricted to people from Canberra, in many cases from the Institute of Criminology with a large academic background but no practical background, and to a couple of locals who, until they were put on the committee, would not have known what the term "juvenile training centre" meant let alone what it entails. My doubts and worries may be misplaced. The members of interdepartmental committees who made the recommendation may be qualified academically, practically, administratively and locally but then again they may not. I hope that, in ensuing debates in this Assembly, my doubts will be set at rest and we will get information as to the form this juvenile training centre will take. A large amount of money has been allocated for the physical reconstruction of Darwin. I wonder if we are capable of spending that amount of money. I wonder whether we will have the supervisory facilities to ensure that the reconstruction takes place in a proper manner. We all agree that lack of supervision contributed greatly to the poor standard of quality of many of the old Darwin homes which disappeared. It is essential that, in the rebuilding of Darwin, supervision is made available otherwise the whole thing is farcical. To have a code and not to build to that code is self-defeating. I wonder too at the way in which contracts for houses are being let by the DRC. I think it is build in haste repent at leisure in some areas. Look at the first site of the permanent housing let by the DRC in the far northern suburbs. There are six slabs of concrete on the ground, one of which has not had adequate supervision because the slab has cracked. Obviously, it has not been properly cured. The first batch of these homes are far removed from any services and far removed from contact with other suburban groups. In fact, they are in the midst of a most desolate area. The place is a dust bowl; it is tinderbox dry. These six slabs are surrounded by the skeletons of homes that were never completed and are now lying sideways. It is a scene of utter and complete desolation; it is like a moonscape. I love Darwin and I have lived here 16 years but I wouldn't live there. I would live in a tent on Mindil Beach or I would live on a rock on the local beach quite happily but I wouldn't live in one of those houses in that scene of incredible desolation away from other human contact, away from bus services, away from

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