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Parliamentary record : Part I debates (02 October 1990)



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





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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 - Tuesday 2 October 1990 in the following terms: 'If you are drinking in a publ ic area and if you have open and unopened 1 i quor containers, a pol ice offi cer is ent it 1 ed to empty out a 11 those 1 i quor contai ners' Imparj a can spread that message. I believe that, if people have plenty of warning about the provision, it will not be long before they obey the 2 km law. Mr Manzie: Doesn't section 45H do that? Mr COLLINS: It seems equivocal. The impression that I have from po 1 ice officers is that they do not want to collect quant it i es of grog and to issue receipts. Mr Manzie: Under section 45H, if the pol ice think that they will be consumed, they can empty them. Mr COLLINS: Perhaps the only difference would be a change from 'may' to 'shall'. Aboriginal people appreciate strong law. I believe that would be most. effective. Just as emptying the grog from opened containers has been effective, this wi 11 be even more effective. If we are to have a 2 km law, let us ensure that it is obeyed. Let us make it quite clear, and the Aboriginal people will respect that. This would have to be applied fairly and squarely across the board. The 1 ast propos it i on related to a s i tuat i on where there are no opened containers but where the people are in a public place with a large quantity of grog. If the pol ice feel that that 1 iquor wi 11 be consumed as soon as they depart the scene, they shou 1 d be ab 1 e to order the peop 1 e to move beyond the 2 km limit or on to private property. They could be given 30 minutes to move beyond the limit or the police may tip out the grog. The 2 km law has had many positive effects. It is being abused again and is not being policed in the manner which was intended. The shortage of police is part of the reason for that. Let's not bind the police down with things which do not work. I appeal to all members to consider the court costs and the costs in pol ice time of a $20 on-the-spot fine. When it was introduced, I said that it would not be effective and that we. would end up with a pile of paperwork which would do nothing to assist. I said that t i pp i ng out the grog wou 1 d work, and it has worked. The 1 aw is there for the purpose of making publ icareas safe and attractive for people who are prepared to obey the 1 aw and who wi sh to enj oy such places wi thout bei ng confronted with visual and verbal pollution and embarrassing behaviour. I commend the proposed amendments to honourable members. I am a little sorry that I did not have a little more faith that the parliament might sit this week and have circulated them a little earlier. However, honourable members are quite intelligent enough to be able to follow the gist of what I intend. I hope that at least some of it will be picked up, even if it is only the first amendment, from the point of view that it is a waste of police resources and court resources and, in effect, is being ignored virtually both by the police and by the court system. Mr Manzie: You are removing the option of seizing? Mr COLLINS: The pol ice see that as another burden on them. They have to spend so much time picking up people and placing them in protective custody and then having to pick up the same people again the following night. It is a merry-go-round. I am sure it is not what many people who join the pol ice force bel ieve that pol icing should be about, and I am equa 11y sure that the community feels that that is not what the pol ice 10 687