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 policy that he would adopt. This is well and truly off the subject of the amendment, but I am sure that I will be allowed to speak in rebuttal of what the member for Stuart and the member for MacDonnell spent half their time talking about. The 2 members have no knowledge whatsoever about mental health services in the Northern Territory. They cited a couple of cases and moved on to irrelevant topics. However, I will go through the process so that we can put their criticisms to bed. Mr Speaker, I will even read out the memorandum which caused this initiative from the secretary of the department. It is dated October 1988: The way the 1988-89 grants program has been handled in the department appears to me to be a clear indication of the value of amalgamation. I believe that it is time to make the general community more aware of the success of the amalgamation and of the role of the department in providing the services which are enjoyed throughout the Territory. Attached is an outline of a publicity campaign. Such a campaign would inform people of the availability of services and emphasise the value of health and community services. The message would be positive and would dovetail with the thrust of government policy to encourage people to have confidence in the future of the Territory. To gain maximum value for the campaign, we would need to start quickly. Not before an election, Mr Speaker, which will not occur for some 2 years. Discussions on the draft plan and associated matters between appropriate officers of my staff could commence immediately. I table that document, Mr Speaker. Likewise, I table the strategy that has been suggested by the Secretary to the CMT members on how best they could go about that particular campaign so that people have it in its entirety. I believe that it is incumbent on me as minister for a department that has the task of distributing various services and various grants-in-aid - pensioner concessions, grants for child-care facilities, grants for sporting facilities of community-based organisations etc - to ensure that the people of the Northern Territory are fully au fait with all of those services and can avail themselves of them. A little while ago, I made a 60-page statement in this House in relation to services to Aboriginal communities in remote areas. Many people in those communities do not have the opportunity to listen to what is said in this House or to read documents that might be tabled in this House. What happens is that the members responsible for those areas go into those communities and misrepresent what has been said. More importantly, they misrepresent what is available to all of the people of the Northern Territory. We are deliberately issuing what the opposition refers to as 'little glossies' so that, in a succinct form, the people in those communities are made fully aware of the services that are provided for them by my department. The PAT Scheme is something on which people need to be fully informed.' I do not resile from my position. I will continue to publicise all the services provided by the department. I have tabled those documents so that any person who wishes to know what has been done within the department can have the facts. If people want the real picture, they should talk to us rather than to members opposite. 5570

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