Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 16 February 1989 but, in my opinion, it is being abused and that needs to be stopped. We need to do what we can to get the federal government to review it and see if they can block some of the loopholes which appear to exist. Mr EDE (Stuart): Mr Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to 2 people from Lajamanu who, by their presence of mind, probably saved a young child's life. I do not know of any award which is appropriate in terms of what those people did and therefore I would like to place on record a brief account of the action they took which, in the view of the community health nurse, probably saved the life of the child and, at the very least, minimised the effects of what could have been a devastating injury, at considerable risk to themselves. As honourable members would know, slippery slides which look to be in good condition can be very rusty underneath. This slide at Lajamanu was one of those. A young child, Gerald Watson, was playing on the slide when his arm went straight through the surface. The artery in his arm was .cut and the 2 pieces of metal came back together, trapping his arm, which was nearly severed. At that stage, seeing what had occurred, Jeoffrey Matthew Jagamara, who was president of the council at one stage and now works as a road foreman, got in behind Gerald and inserted his own hands into the break in the slide. Rex Patterson Japarula assisted him and, together, they were able both to comfort the child and to prise his arm free. Using their hands as tourniquets, they moved him from the slide to the clinic. It is believed that there was a possibility that the child would have lost his life and a very definite probability that he would not have had any use of his arm. In fact, it is probable that he would have lost the whole arm. Depending on what the surgeon can do, there is now a possibility that Gerald will regain 90% to 95% of the use of his arm. In the view of the community health nurse responsible for that area, that is definitely due to the quick thinking of the 2 people concerned and their disregard for the possibility of suffering damage to their own hands in the process of helping the child. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to those 2 men because such quick-witted action, in a situation like that, is worth far more than any emergency services. It is the sort of thing that we expect of Territorians, but we are always happy to see it when it occurs. On a less positive note, I want to comment on remarks which the Minister for Education made this morning on the subject of school fees and use of school libraries. The minister stated that the libraries are open until 9 pm every night for the use of senior high school students and intimated that, because students could study in the libraries, the inability to borrow books because of non-payment of school fees was not a real problem. Mr Speaker, as you would know, Sadadeen Secondary College no longer has its own library. It shares a library with ASCOT, the Alice Springs College of TAFE. That library will not be open at all at night, on any day of the week, until about 26 February. From then on, it will be open on 1 night per week for those people to go back and study. I know that the minister said that people who cannot afford to pay their school fees can see the registrar or the principal and get relief. The fact of the matter is, however, that a considerable amount of shame is involved in doing that. People have to say that they cannot afford the fees and need an exemption. Mrs Padgham-Purich interjecting. 5608
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