Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)


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 - Thursday 16 February 1989 Mr EDE: Yes, we do. That is how Carl Jabanardi came back to the Northern Territory. He was dropped at the front gate and that was it. How does one look after someone like Carl Jabanardi? He wandered the streets of Alice Springs for several months and he used to be quite a sight, racing at kids as they ran away laughing and carrying on. It seemed that he was one of the local characters until, one day, he decided that he had had enough of this treatment. Mr Dale: It is absolutely pathetic to use people's names like this. Mr EDE: Sit down. One day, he picked up a picket and killed an innocent person, someone who had nothing whatsoever to do with his situation. He should never have been released. There was no request whatsoever for him to come back to the community. An institution simply decided that it did not want to carry out its function any longer and decided to dump him on the community again. Who bore the brunt of that? The family concerned. Mr Speaker, that person has since done the rounds of the institutions here and the difficulties of looking after him have often been referred to by magistrates. He has been moved from the prison system to the hospital system and so forth, and his case. has often been referred to in newspapers, particularly in Alice Springs. Magistrates complain about the problems they face when individuals are brought before them time and time again . Honourable members from the Centre will know the individuals concerned and be familiar with the frustration expressed by magistrates with the fact that the assessed needs of these individuals are not being met. Mr Dale: Use the past tense. They are being met now. Mr EDE: We will examine that claim in due course. Mr Speaker, this matter last came to a head towards the end of 1986, when magistrates in Alice Springs expressed enormous concern because the criminal justice system was not able to adequately handle behaviourally-disturbed offenders. They said that those people were a major threat to the community and were on a judicial merry-go-round, spending intermittent periods of time in prison between periods in the community during which they engaged in activities which could only be described as socially unacceptable. The then Chief Minister established a working party to investigate the needs of the behaviourally-disturbed. A similar working party had been established a year or 2 earlier. Both working parties came to similar conclusions and, prior to the last election in 1987, the CLP incorporated those in the form of election promises. One was the promise to establish an assessment team in Alice Springs. This team would assess the psychiatrically-ill to see whether they were behaviourally-disturbed and it was to comprise a psychiatrist, a psychologist, social workers and support staff. Mr Dale: That has been done. Mr EDE: It has not been done. The staff are not in place. Mr Dale: You are wrong again. Mr EDE: Are you telling me that a psychologist, psychiatrist~ social workers and support staff are working in an assessment team in Alice Springs? 5566

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