Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1985)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 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 - Wednesday 27 February 1985 inherent in a conununity with such rapid growth as ours. We have probably the youngest population in Australia. In fact, the average age of Territorians is somewhere between 25 and 30 years. The majority of our population would be below that age. We have as many people aged between birth and 4 years as we have aged between 20 and 24 years. This indicates a significant stabilising of the conununity since self-government. No longer is the majority being transferred here for a couple of years purgatory in this tropical hell. Our population has put down roots and purchased homes. People are having children, raising families and loving life in what we recognise as a tropical paradise and a land of opportunity. At least, that is what most of us are doing. Regrettably, there are those for whom it does not work out this way. I am referring to some of our young people who choose to destroy their lives through the use of drugs or perhaps turning to crime. During my recent door-knocking campaign in my electorate, I received one message loud and clear. The message was that juvenile break and enters had reached epidemic proportions. This, problem was immediately drawn to the notice of the Chief Minister, and His Honour the Administrator confirmed in his opening address that the Task Force on Juvenile Crime had been established. Together with other committees investigating allied problems, I am confident that its reports will allow us to develop a broad response which will successfully address the problem. Whilst juvenile crime is a considerable problem, I hasten to add that delinquents are a small minority of our youth. The maj ority of our young people conduct themselves in a responsible manner and in their own way make a considerable contribution to the well-being of our community. I believe that we can be justly proud of our youth and of their parents and other adults who devote so much of their time to supporting young people through the numerous sporting bodies and youth groups that abound in our community. It is the efforts of these dedicated people, who are moulding the adult Territorians of tomorrow, that we should applaud. Our community has stabilised. No longer do children of today disappear south tomorrow. These young people will be our leaders of the future. I have every confidence in their ability to carry out that task. Mr Speaker, there are numerous other issues that I could address today. However, I believe they are best left to another time. Let me assure you, Sir, that you will find me an active member of this Assembly, one who will not hesitate to participate and to contribute. May I close, Sir, with this quote from Benjamin Disraeli: 'No government can be long secure without a formidable opposition'. This government finds itself in such a position. I believe it is therefore incumbent on this backbenchto monitor closely the actions of our government and, where necessary, to act as an opposition. Sir, I intend to actively participate in this exercise. Mr D.W. COLLINS (Sadadeen): Mr Speaker, it gives me pleasure to join in this address in reply to his Honour the Administrator. Northern Territory growth has been very rapid. When I tame to this Assembly, the population was about 113 000. Today, we have more than 140 000 which is a very big increase. It is in the order of 21% since self-government, as the previous speaker said. It is vital for the Territory that we grow because, if we have any hope of becoming economically independent to at least the level of the state, then we need that extra population. This government has promised that it will continue to promote economic and social infrastructure to help maintain our rate of growth, to create jobs, to create opportunities for people to show their entrepreneurial skills and to create the social environment which helps people stay here. My hope is that the government will know when to step back and encourage 59