Parliamentary record : Part I debates (02 October 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesda1 2 October 1990 However, I believe that we have a long way to go yet and that the sessional committee is heading in the right direction. I do not believe that this bill will provide assistance in that regard. One of the uni ntended effects of the 2 km 1 aw was that it 1 ed to the policing of people drinking in the bed of the Todd River in Alice Springs. Prior to the 2 km law, when there was no policing of people drinking in the Todd, many more homicides and serious assaults occurred. Because the police are keepi ng an eye on those people, albeit as an uni ntended consequence of the 2 km law, there has been an improvement in that milieu. I could speak at length about the broad issues involved in the question of public drinking in Alice Springs. The Tangentyere social club is relevant in. this context. I said a few minutes ago that western society has been grappling with the problem of liquor licensing in relatively recent times. Parliaments in the United Kingdom and in the United States have felt the need to legislate to control the consumption of 1 iquor because of deleterious social and economic effects. We must consider the problem' of where people drink and how they drink in that context. The Tangentyere Social Club approach has been positive in that regard. We have to look at the lives of the people involved in drinking in public places that often resul ts ina 1 coho 1 abuse, murder and mayhem, and we have cons i der what solutions can be found. The Tangentyere Liquor Committee has gone a long way in that regard. The government's attitude towards the social club proposal has been equivocal. It is to be congratulated for providing some land for the project. Mr Vale: That is not all. Check your details. Mr BELL: I am not aware of the extent of other government assistance, but I will certainly look forward to the member for Braitl ing giving us more details of further government assistance. The government's att itude in that regard has been somewhat equ i voca 1 because it has sponsored object i on to the 1 i cence. I fi nd that att i tude equivocal to the point of schizophrenia. Either you believe the social club proposa 1 shou 1 d be given a go or you be 1 i eve it shou 1 d not. I wou 1 d have thought that, having provided the land and other assistance as referred to by the member for Braitling, the government would have let the process of the liquor licence application proceed unfettered. However, members of the Chief Minister's staff have been encouraged to oppose that licence. The Minister for Health and Community Services, as the Chairman of the Select Committee on Constitutional Development, raised this issue when he visited Papunya wi th that committee. He found that people at Papunya were not too interested in const itut i ona 1 development, but that they were interested in the prob 1 ems of a 1 coho 1 abuse. He went way beyond his bri ef on the Select Committee on Constitutional Development Mr Hatton: Separate meeting. Mr BELL: .. and decided to encourage people to oppose the social club proposal. It irritated me intensely at the time, and I think it is probably worth while that I place my irritation on record. The people at Papunya had enough to deal with, given that there was a meeting with the Select Committee on Constitutional Development in the morning and a meeting in the afternoon of the Sess i ona 1 Commi ttee on the Use and Abuse of A 1 coho 1 by the Community, without the. Minister for Health and Community Services further , muddyi ng the waters by conduct i ng what he now te 11 s us was a pri vate meet i ng 10 683
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