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 payment than they would receive in a dynamic environment? We pay more for everything else to be supplied. so why should we expect not to pay more for the services of these highly-skilled people? We need an educational program to train our own specialists in this field. Dedication and a vocation are not enough but. in many areas. they have to suffice. If we do not plan to train our own people. we will continue to have to compete on the open market for specialists. We are campaigning for statehood. Professional self-sufficiency is an important aspect of our argument. The Darwin Institute of Technology and the University College of the Northern Territory must provide training in these skills. Aboriginal people have special problems which need sensitive attention. We acknowledge the need for that in other areas. and this is no different. A close study of the New Directions Report. which the minister referred to. and the implementation of its philosophy and. more importantly. its plans and policies should be undertaken immediately. When a national review and survey has been conducted. we should take the opportunity to assess its findings. We do not need yet another committee or review which is the usual style of this government. I urge members to familiarise themselves with this report on new directions. We need some new directions of our own in the Northern Territory. These unfortunate disabled people have no directional future here. Mr Speaker. the organisations working on behalf of such people are very willing to do more but they simply lack the means. The job they are doing is superb but we must help them to do more. We know of 43 people in Darwin alone who will need some sort of residential care by 1996. The oldest such person now residing here full time is aged 20 years. There will be at least 20 more adult people by 1996 and we have no plans or places for them. At the Henbury Avenue School alone. there are 3 profoundly handicapped children for whom residential care is an immediate and critical need. In order to supply this resldential care. the committee needs to come up with real solutions and this government must implement its proposals. These people are realistic and deeply involved in these issues. They know the situation the families are in. They are aware of the lack of money and live with that constantly. They recognise the needs. They are the experts. We do not need another instant expert or an adviser from somewhere else which is the course of action the government usually adopts. We have the expertise in the Northern Territory and I urge the government to seek out those people who have that experience. Our handicapped people are citizens of the Northern Territory and must have their right to independence recognised. We must give choices and opportunities to each according to his or her abilities. This is the hallmark of civilisation. Mr DALE (Community Development): Mr Speaker. this subject is undoubtedly always a matter of public importance and this Northern Territory government has always regarded it as such. However. in my view. the way in which it has been presented to us today is nothing more than a rather cheap and almost sick political point-scoring exercise. I would like to direct the attention of the member for Nhulunbuy to another problem that this government is facing in the area of care for the behaviourally disturbed. I am quite amazed that neither the member for Nhulunbuy nor the member for Arnhem even touched on the subject. particularly as they represent areas that are largely occupied by Aboriginal people. I would like to talk about the problem that is being created for the Northern 799