Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 - Tuesday 11 November 1986 Obviously. the member for Nhulunbuy is not aware that there is a difference between disabled people and disabled people who have behavioural problems. There has been some comment in the press in relation to this aspect. As I mentioned on talkback radio. we are looking towards having someone live in the home for a period in order to give the family a rest. We have also heard that the number of handicapped people could double next year when handicapped people are repatriated to the Northern Territory from southern institutions. We have 24 intellectually-handicapped people and 3 psychiatric patients in South Australia at the moment. This costs the Northern Territory government $750 000. In the future. those people will be repatriated to the Territory but, at the moment, no decision has been taken to repatriate them, apart from an understanding that some may be repatriated as facilities become available. We could talk about petrol sniffers from South Australia. There are young South Australians who are attending the Alice Springs Hospital at present. We pick up the tab for that, not South Australia. These are real issues that must be addressed and the government is addressing them. Fortunately, we are able to talk with the South Australian and Western Australian governments in relation to those problems and we will come to grips with them. In relation to Down's Syndrome persons, there are differing views within the association itself. Some people accept the direction in which the Down's Syndrome Association is going but others say that it is moving in the wrong direction. There was a statement in the press that the South Australian Down's Syndrome group was receiving more funding than the Territory group. In real terms, the Down's Syndrome Association receives $9667 per person in the Territory and, in South Australia. the figure is $2265. The Commonwealth government established a review of programs for disabled people and the Leader of the Opposition is aware of that. The Department of Health and the Disabled Persons Bureau have commented that, in many ways, the Northern Territory is ahead of the rest of Australia in implementing the recommendations of that report. The member for Nhulunbuy should be aware of that. Mr Speaker. lam pleased the matter has been raised and there are many issue,s that I could still address. The opposition should be aware that often government wants to help but is frustrated by a lack of available staff. In conclusion. might I say that the member for Nhulunbuy is way out of touch. Far from doing nothing, the government is doing a great deal because we are determined to meet the health requirements of people in the Northern Territory. I wish that, before opposition members raise an issue such as thi s, they woul d at 1 east have the courtesy to see me and talk about it. I am happy that the issue has been raised here and. if there are further questions to be asked in relation to it, I will be only too pleased to take them on board. Mr LANHUPUY (Arnhem): Mr Speaker, once again. we have the Minister for Health promising that he and his government intend to do this, that and the other. I have spoken on other occasions in the Assembly about the facilities that we have for handicapped people and I have drawn the minister's attention to them. It is time that the minister and the Northern Territory government started to spend some money on some of those services that the opposition has expressed concern about in the Assembly and outside. 797