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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 The government has made some movement in that regard and I congratulate it on that. However, there is still a long way to go before we can seriously start to reduce our unenviable reputation as being the most violent part of Australia. Mr TUXWORTH (Bark1y): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Chief Minister's statement and to commend the document which has been tabled this morning. The real problem that we have always had in relation to violence in the community, apart from the violence itself, is the attitude of the community to it. I think that was highlighted on Sunday when I attended a farewe 11 function in the rural area for Brother Noel of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Duri ng hi s remarks to hi s congregation, he sa i d that the great sadness that he experienced in the Northern Territory was that lout of every 4 funerals that he attended as a clergyman involved a juvenile suicide. It was a stark reminder to him of the state of the community when such a high number of young people were committing suicide. That started me thinking about the matter of violence. A great deal has been done in recent years to try to highlight the problems of domestic violence, to bring it out in the open and to deal with it in a positive way. I think that much has been gained from that. In an earlier debate in this House, I took issue with the minister over some of the problems with legislation relating to the reporting of domestic violence. Notwithstanding those problems, and they are very real, I think a great deal has been achieved in making the community more aware. When we are talking about awareness, however, it is a relative matter. One can go to an Aboriginal community and see some badly battered people from time to time. I must say that my stomach churns when I see some of the women in Aboriginal communities who must have had one hell of a hiding for some reason or another. What you and I, Mr Speaker, would perceive as domestic violence and brutality of the worst form is accepted in some of those communities as a way of life. A great deal has yet to be done to ensure that the attitudes in those communities are turned around. That leads me to the point that was raised by the member for Sadadeen about videos. While we are trying to turn around community attitudes towards violence, we are sending into those communities violent videos and films that would make any normal person's blood crawl through his veins. Mr Collins: Such as the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre ' . Mr TUXWORTH: Yes, that is a particularly ghastly movie. It seems to me that, if we are to try to change attitudes in the community, at some stage we must indicate that we do not regard as the norm such movies that are available for the entertainment of the public and that we do not sponsor the behaviour depicted in them. However, I think the time is fast coming when we will have to bite the bullet in relation to some of these violent movies and ban them. If some people in the community regard the behaviour in some of these violent videos as normal, we still have a very sick community. That reminds me of a statement made by the policeman at Elliott some years ago. He said to me: II can tell you what movie is being watched in the camps by the behaviour of people over the weekend and the charges I have to lay when I lock them Upl. To that pol iceman, the relationship was that clear and that brutal. On a more positive note, I would like to say that .I am pleased to note the introduction of video recording for interviews with the police. It is an instance of police work and court activities keeping up with technology. At the end of the day, I do not thi nk there will ever be a substitute for 8750