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Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




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 27 February 1990 and appropriate training to enable them to do that. Unfortunately, I do not believe that is occurring at present. I do not believe that sufficient money is allocated to police training to enable them to be equipped as properly as they could be in dealing with all of the burdens that we expect them to bear on behalf of the population of the Northern Territory. Turning to the report itself, like the Chief Minister, I commend its well-researched and cogent style. As the Chief Minister indicated, I had the opportunity to address a public meeting at which a number of the members of the committee were present. I believe that the committee's willingness to consult and listen has resulted in such a good report. It is worth noting some of the issues that were comprehensively researched by the committee. These included social, economic, psychological and environmental aspects of violence, gender issues, drug and alcohol effects, the attitudes of children and adolescents to violence, the vulnerability of particular groups, and support to victims of violence. Given the comparatively high levels of violence in the Northern Territory, some additional statistics in the report are interesting. Infants under 12 months old - and this is quite staggering and very frightening - face the highest risk in terms of homicide. Non-fatal assaults have increased since the early 1970s. In more than 80% of cases, offenders are males aged between 18 and 30 years of age, and most of them are likely to be single and unemployed. Assaults by juveniles are comparatively uncommon. Men are more likely to be victims of other men, except for domestic violence and child abuse. Both perpetrators and victims of violence generally are from relatively less advantaged groups. As we have already heard, Aboriginal people are at higher risk, and most Aboriginal victims of violence are women. Families are the training ground for violence: the aggressive child becomes an aggressive adult. The use of violence is deeply embedded in our culture, and the member for Sadadeen has mentioned one aspect. Without doubt, there is considerable violence in R-rated videos but, in fact, violence is more institutionalised in our society than it is at the video shop. Factors associated with violence include community tolerance of violence in the home - and, thankfully, we are becoming less and less tolerant of that - in relation to sport, and we are all aware of that, and in schools. Economic inequality, gender inequality, alcohol abuse and even sociocultural diversity are factors which underlie much of the violence apparent in our community at the moment. The report makes 138 recommendations relating to matters such as health, welfare, employment and training, housing, transport, sport and recreation, Abori gi na 1 affa irs, cri mi na 1 1 aw, 1 oca 1 government and the non-government and private sectors. The Chief Minister stated that many of the more significant recommendations are already in place in the Northern Territory. I am pleased to recognise that, in many ways, the Northern Territory has been the leader in dealing with some of these problems. However, as the Chief Minister also said, there is still much to do. Importantly, he paid little attention to what strategies. are needed to prevent or reduce violence. The prevention of violence requires addressing social and cultural values relating to violence. The Chief Minister did not address those socia1 and cultural values. He said a great deal about the level of violence in Aboriginal communities but very little about ways in which we can reduce that level of violence. The Chief Minister said that it is difficult to obtain evidence in domestic violence cases. He went on to say that, when evidence is 8748