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 what is happening in his department. It is most important that we are informed about developments in these areas. Mr Speaker, I commend the statement. Amendment negatived. Mr DALE (Health and Community Services): Mr Speaker, unfortunately I will be brief in my reply on this motion because, quite frankly, members opposite have contributed little to the debate. Their comments are an indictment of them and have vindicated the opinions I have expressed publicly on many occasions. It is unfortunate, although a fact of parliamentary procedure, that we cannot refer to members opposite or, for that matter, any member of this parliament as a liar. I do not intend to do that now. However, I want honourable members to noie the facts which lam about to give. I hope that they will then make up their own minds about a typical performance by the member for Barkly, who made a, pathetic attempt today to clean up what he had done outside the House. I refer to his press release of 6 February 1989, which stated: 'Mr Tuxworth said, "The Northern Territory is the only place in Australia that puts its psychiatric facilities in the general hospitals. It is time we learnt the lesson of the other states"'. I, repeat his words: 'The Northern Territory is the only place in Australia that puts its psychiatric facilities in the general hospitals'. Mr Speaker, I will quickly refer to a list - and it is not an exhaustive one - which contains information about hospitals with psychiatric facilities in or on their grounds in Australia. In Queensland: Prince Charles Hospital - 164 beds; Princess Alexandra - 80 beds; Townsville - 71 beds; Toowoomba - 25 beds; Southport - 25 beds; and Cairns - 29 beds. South Australia: Queen Elizabeth - 20 beds; Royal Adelaide - 24 beds; and Modbury - 20 beds. In Western Australia: Royal Perth - 40 beds and Repatriation General - 24 beds. In New South Wales: Bankstown - 40 beds; Centra 1 Coast - 18 beds; Coffs Harbour - 4 beds; Roya 1 Pri nce Alfred - 30 beds; Newcastle - 22 beds; Royal North Shore - 19 beds; and Albury - 12 beds. In Victoria: the Austin Hospital - 12 beds; Geelong - 30 beds; and Mildura Base - 20 beds. In Tasmania, at the Launceston Genera 1 - 18 beds, and in the ACT, Woden Va 11 ey ,.. that wonderful hospital on which the Royal Darwin Hospital is modelled - has 26 psychiatric beds. I ask people in the public arena and honourable members of this House, when they make an assessment of the ability of the member for Barkly to tell the truth or otherwise, to consider the statement he issued telling the people of the Territory that this is the only place in Australia that puts its psychiatric facilities in its general hospitals. That statement is completely contrary to the truth. To illustrate his desperation to build a case to deceive people, not only in this House but elsewhere, he read out a document today which barely r,elates to the subject of this statement, which is ,the Territory's facilities for the mentally-ill, The letter that he quoted was from the Anyinginyi Congress Aboriginal Corporation and it is interesting to note whom copies were sent to. It shows up this radical, right-wing member of the so-called National Party. Copies were sent to Dr Neal Blewett, Mr Neil Bell and Mr Warren Snowdon; they are his bedfellows. This document was faxed from the member for Barkly's office at 2131 hours yesterday. That indicates that he saw the copy of the statement that I tabled in the Assembly yesterday. He would have grabbed hold of it and thought, 'Whoops, I don't have too much ammunition here'. Then he would have decided 5582

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