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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 The reason that I think it is so important is that the federal government has been very successful in its program of trying to keep children at school for Years 11 and 12. What we are seeing now is really a new generation of high school students remaining at school, but they will only do so if they can study the subjects that are of interest or of value to them when they leave school. It will become more important than ever for the Department of Education to be able to provide those subjects in the smaller communities so that children will remain at school. If we want to be practical about high schools like Tennant Creek, most of the kids there, particularly' the Aboriginal children, will not move away. They will be looking for their employment opportunities in that community. Now that we have them in school, it is important that we provide the opportunity for them to study the subjects that are important to them and that will give them good job opportunities. The benefits that will flow to the whole of the Territory from that are significant. Honourable members from Alice Springs have told me that the Anzac Hill High School situation is much the same, and I hope for that school's sake that it gets an additional teacher as soon as possible. Another item I would like to speak on tonight relates to the proposal by Aboriginal groups in Tennant Creek to become involved in housing development in other towns, such as Elliott and Borroloola. I would like to place on the record that my objection to organisations like Julalikara becoming involved in housing development in Borroloola or Elliott has nothing to do with excluding Aborigines from the home building industry at all. It is just that, in very small communities like those, there is a limit to the number of people available to be members of organisations. There is a limit to the amount of work and money that is available, and there is a limit to the amount of bureaucracy that small towns can absorb. I am of the view that, right across the Territory, we should be making a special effort to ensure that remote community government councils and small town councils have the opportunity to participate in home construction in their communities, if that is their wish. That may mean that the government may like to take money from the Housing Commission at some time, or talk the ABTF into providing additional funds so that, each year, each community is building a couple of houses in its own community. From that it will gain experience and confidence. It will provide job opportunities and it will make people feel as though they are doing something worthwhile for themselves. The opportunity is there for us to do things in every town and every community, in terms of house building, and it does not have to involve big dollars. In some of these communities. even 2 houses a year would be a very significant step for the councils to take. That is something I think we ought to look at and consider. Mr Speaker, the other subject I will touch on tonight is rather interesting, at least to me. It concerns a person who used to come to Darwin to play sport many years ago and it relates to Saturday's football match between Port Adelaide and the Territory, in which the Territory did us proud. In the first quarter, Port, the bigger and fitter-looking team, really had it all its own way and I must say that I experienced a few moments of apprehension. The one thing that people from outside Darwin always have to contend with and find a really big problem is the humidity. People in Darwin forget that it is even a problem. They live in it and play in it all the time and do not see it as a problem. Because you have been a sportsman, Mr Speaker, you would know that if you come from Tennant Creek or Alice Springs or anywhere south of Katherine to play any sport in Darwin at a 5618