Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (22 August 1985)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (22 August 1985)


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 - Thursday 22 August 1985 under way at the moment - have noted this extremely serious problem. It concerns not only those people who are indirectly affected, those who end up with damaged property, those who may suffer some physical violence because of the problem, but also the children who are being destroyed daily by this habit. It is not a new phenomenon but, in my electorate, it is a developing phenomenon. It has been developing for some time but it has reached a very crucial stage. To give those people who have not visited my electorate some idea of the difficulties of mixing cultures, I think it is worth outlining the population mix of the Nhulunbuy electorate. There is an extremely affluent European population which is largely cosmopolitan. They tend to come from not only different parts of Australia but different parts of the world. Their stay in Nhulunbuy is generally limited to 3 or 4 years, sometimes longer. I have been there for 15 years but generally people stay for a much shorter period. Generally, they are extremely well educated. That does not hold across the board but they tend to be persons involved in technical fields who have skilled jobs. Their general concept of Nhulunbuy is that it is not home; it is a place to live for a few years until they see fit to leave. It must be said that that section of my constituency by and large has little understanding of the incredible changes that are being forced upon the Aboriginal people. On the other hand, of my Aboriginal constituents, a number of the younger people speak English but there are many who speak little or no English. In English, they are illiterate in the true sense of the word. Their Aboriginality must be seen to be understood. They are persons who are very attached to their origins, to their heritage and to their culture. They are being thrust into a world that is changing at a rate that I find very difficult to cope with sometimes. Those are the human dimensions of my electorate which, on a daily basis, inevitably cause stress. The European laws that we pass in this Assembly are being slowly understood by my Aboriginal constituents. Their application to their culture is less understood. The means by which parents can control children has yet to be developed. Hence, we have these enormous problems, particularly with petrol sniffing. Those are some of the sadder realities of my electorate. On a brighter note, the union picnic weekend which was held in the first weekend of August was successful. Indeed, the member for Wagaman and several other NT and federal parliamentarians were there on the weekend. I assume that they enjoyed themselves. I always enjoy the weekend. I would invite all other members to come over and enjoy what Nhulunbuy can offer on that weekend. Certainly, it is most successful. I am told it offers the best pro/am golf tournament in the Territory. It certainly offered the only north Australian surfing finals. We beat Darwin this year for the first time. All in all, it was a very successful weekend. Continuing in the sporting vein, racing has interested me for a number of years now. I was pleased to hear the Chief Minister congratulate and generally praise the Darwin Turf Club this morning for its recent very successful cup carnival. The entire carnival brings a huge influx of visitors into the Northern Territory. However, I must say that I have heard many complaints. Many people have spoken to me about the inadequacies of the facilities at the Darwin Turf Club. Of all the things that Darwin has to offer, besides politicians and public servants, a genuine earner for this town would have to be the Darwin Turf Club Carnival. The number of visitors who 1264

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