Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 Mr Finch: There is an easy solution. Mr Manzie: You can make it part of your election platform. I am sure that you have the guts to do that. Mr EDE: Yes, we have guts on this side of the House. Mr Manzie: I am sure you do. Mr EDE: When you have a problem of this nature in politics, one thing should guide you. There is no truth in the government's contribution to this debate. Mr Palmer: It is all right for kids to experiment with heroin, is it? Mr EDE: Mr Speaker, that absolutely inane comment from the member for Karama exemplifies the reason why he will not be here after the next election. Putting that type of construction on a serious matter like this only adds fuel to the fi re and prevents us from comi ng to gri ps wi th the problem. The government attempts to play politics with this issue whenever it arises. Members opposite seem to be unable to resist that temptation. It is to their shame. In addition, it reflects very poorly on the commitment which they should have to the young and the commitment which they should have to solving a very serious community problem. It is a crying shame. The government's approach will take us further down the road into the mire. It wi 11 make the situation worse rather than better. It mearis that, when we come to power, we will have to do so much extra work just to return to the stage we have reached now, before we begin to take the Territory forward. It is a crying shame. When will members on the other side of the House stop lying to children solely in order to score some political points and some perceived electoral advantage? Why don't they simply say: 'Let us strip away the lies. Let us tell the truth, for a change. Let us tell people the reality of where we stand in relation to drugs'. It is a shame that this government still has not done that and, unfortunately, will not learn. Mrs PADGHAM-PURICH (Koolpinyah): Mr Deputy Speaker, my remarks in support of this legislation will be brief. It may not be the most ideal legislation but, nevertheless, it is legislation which any sensible person who has the interest of the community at heart could not but agree with. I listened to what the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Opposition said. I do not believe it is telling lies to the children. It may not be perfect legislation, but it goes further than previous legislation has towards controlling the drug consumption by certain members of the community to the betterment of the community. It has been proved by more than one committee or individual that people, especially young people, will expertment with drugs. Usually, they experiment first with a drug that is easier to obtain than others. That is a soft drug which is taken in a small dose. I am not stretching the truth when I say that, if they experience good feelings with a small dose, they will increase the next dose or they will increase the incidences of the small doses. It is hiding from the truth not to say that, if the person is so incl ined, he or she will proceed from soft to hard drugs. We have to take a stand somewhere and this legislation does that. I am aware of the dangers of the ingestion of nicotine and alcohol in the community. Already we have legislation dealing with the sale of alcohol. There is legislation dealing with the availability of nicotine in 8844
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