Parliamentary record : Part I debates (02 October 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 2 October 1990 I suspect the government I s mot i ves in i ntroduc i ng a bi 11 of thi s sort at this time and I foreshadow that, at the conclusion of the second-reading debate, the opposition will move, pursuant to standing order 183, that the bill be referred to the Sessional Committee on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Commun ity. For that reason, the government MrCoulter: Speak to your local policeman and he will tell you where it should be dealt with. Mr BELL: I intend to raise the problems of policing in this regard and, to satisfy the Leader of the Government Business, let me point out to him that I have spoken to many police officers. I have a close relationship with the police, at least in central Australia, in respect of their difficulties in policing problems associated with the use and abuse of alcohol. I believe that only the opposition has taken a broad view of the problems. The politics underlying this bill are based simply on a law-and-order approach. From the point of view of many residents in Alice Springs or Katherine - and shortly I will speak about the untruths that the member for Katherine has been peddling - the opposition has taken a broad view, appreciating the fact that people in the community need to, be protected. When public drinking involves offences against citizens, usually those offences are committed against fellow drinkers. Let us face it, 99% of the crime resulting from alcohol abuse in public places rebounds on the very people who are breaking the 2 km law. Very rarely does it impinge on people outside of those groups. Mr Reed: Is that right! Mr Coulter: And 75% of all prison inmates are there because of alcohol-related crime. Mr BELL: At least on a proportional basis, there is no doubt that the homicides and serious assaults that are associated with alcohol abuse impact particularly on Aboriginal people who are drinking in public places, and I believe that that is the problem that we should be concentrating on. Mr Coulter: We are. That is exactly what we are doing. Mr BELL: The Leader of Government Business interjects and tells me that we are. In putting forward a proposal like this, there is no evidence that the government is doing so. If the government were genuine about adopting an attitude like theit, it would be quite happy to see this bill referred to the Sessional Committee on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Community. Mr Coulter: Let us have a review! Let us have a task force! Mr BELL: The Leader of Government Business tells me that we should have a review and we should have a task force. I noticed that he did not bother to present any materi alto the sess i ona 1 commi ttee when he had the opportunity to do so last week. However, the opposition and I have never doubted,that there is a law-and-order issue associated with alcohol abuse that has to be addressed, but I do not believe that this proposal will go any way towards achieving that end. I had the opportunity to be briefed by the Commissioner of Police in respect of the operation of the 2 km law, and I do not believe that this proposal will assist matters one iota. As the honourable minister outlined in his second-reading speech, the proposal is that police be 10 680
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