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 Mr Deputy Speaker, it is a significant achievement that the pipeline has been completed in response to one of our most urgent needs: the broadening of the economic base in the Territory. That is particularly meaningful in the encouragement of further horticultural development with all of the associated works, particularly chillers and cool rooms and so on up and down the track. It will assist with tourism development that is likely to occur. The generation of power is horrifically expensive in the more isolated communities. It will assist growth in the manufacturing sector, particularly where the infrastructure and energy costs currently prohibit much expansion in that area. The gas pipeline holds much promise and, in spite of the inevitable escalation of the price of fuel oil overseas, because of the size and the indigenous nature of that gas reserve, we are likely to be able to maintain the price of the delivered product to the power-station for some considerable time. Mr Deputy Speaker, although they are relatively small, there are a number of budget allocations on which I want to commend the government. One is the provision of more school police. I, for one, was an early convert to the benefits of the school police when I actually saw the scheme on the ground at Casuarina High School and when I listened to the comments made both by teachers and the student body. I know that the police force chooses its personnel for such programs carefully, because their failure or success is absolutely dependent on the personality and attitude of the officers involved. I have no hesitation in saying, as I did in a previous debate in this Assembly, that the particular officer who kicked the scheme off at Casuarina was outstanding. It was obvious, from the changed attitudes towards the police which resulted from that officer's work at Casuarina, that the scheme was worthy of further supporL There is another reason why I am very pleased to see this budget allocation. For whatever reason, we appear to have a disturbing increase in the use of drugs in schools. We have enough trouble already, with alcohol and marijuana probably being the substances most often abused. I was interested to hear recently on AM that, despite the fact that intensive studies have demonstrated that the continuous use of marijuana does produce some detectable brain damage after many years, it is nothing compared with the permanent damage to the brain and other organs of the body produced by the excessive use of alcohol. The casual attitude of many high school children in the Northern Territory towards alcohol is of concern to me. It is almost considered to be a matter of course these days that very young children are getting drunk on a regular basis. I know that it sounds trite, because it has been said many times before, but it deserves to be said again that alcohol advertising has considerable impacL The current Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs is coming in for a lot of entirely unjustified criticism for pointing this out. When, on a daily basis, you see the glorification and edificationo-f alcohol in our news~papers and on television, it is hardly surprising that schemes promoted by taxpayers' money in an attempt to counter this positive publicity often fail. The community, through the education budgets of appropriation bills and particularly through the health budgets of appropriation bills, is left to pick up the tab. All honourable members know the kind of advertising that I am talking about. In particular, it is the advertising that directly links the use of alcohol with what is probably one of the more attractive pursuits for a school child: sport. Honourable members have heard me say this before and I do not have any embarrassment in repeating it. I support Charles Perkins and his colleagues 818

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