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 amendments that this government has in the pipeline for implementation in the near future. It is not our intention to do as the member for MacDonnell urges and wait until we can solve the whole range of problems relating to alcohol abuse. Would he have us shelve the current bill to amend the act in respect of underage drinking simply because we ought to wait for the sessional committee to complete its work before we do anything? Time stands still for no one in this regard, and this government ,is about making decisions. Mr Ede: It certainly is running out for you. Mr FINCH: Mr Deputy Speaker, fortunately, members on this side of the House will be here for many years to implement legislation, continuously, as indigestible as that news might be for the member for Stuart. Of course, he will not be around for too much longer to be worried about these things. He can go back to his Congress and continue the devious work there that he started years ago. Why shouldn't government implement practical means to address specific problems? The aspect of the problem of alcohol abuse that this amendm~nt comes some way towards addressing is its impact on others. ' The member for Stuart himself says that part of his difficulty 1 ies with people hassl ing him about drunks fighting in the streets and stirring up trouble in the town area. That is what the 2 km 1 aw is about., It is about ensuri,ng that peop 1 e do not drink in public places. Mr Ede: Are you going to close all the pubs? Mr FINCH: Mr Deputy Speaker, draft legislation is being prepared for consideration by Cabinet in relation to more practical ways of implementing the existing requirement on licensees not to serve intoxicated persons. Would the member for MacDonnell have us sit on our hands and wait for the sessional committee to finish its work before we proceed with that? Quite incorrectly, he gave the impression that nothing has transpired in respect of the exi st i ng act. It is true that there have been many techni ca 1 difficulties and these are being addressed. Many actions have been in it i ated. Many of those actions' have not come to the court but there have been actions nonetheless. It has been explained to licensees that, whilst a case may not be proved, they have contravened the intention of the conditions of their licence - that is, that they must not serve intoxicated persons. Mr Ede interjecting. Mr FINCH: Would the honourable member have us sit on our hands and do nothing about the current difficulty with evidentiary requirements? I do not know why we waste our time trying to explain things to the member for Stuart. He has a block head in relation to these matters and it does take some concentration for him to hear the bells ring on calls for division. What is required are practical approaches to identify problems as they arise. The 2 km law has been odifficult. The honourable member explained himself ,that ladies can hide casks under their dresses. Maybe they can hide whole cartons. I do not know. The point is that, if the police had the power to empty those cartons of beer or those flagons, I do not think it wou 1 d take too long for the culprits to get the message that they ought not to be drinking there. It is not a big deal at all. They will have togo 5 km out of town and that will remove the nui sance value to him and others in his electorate. 10 700
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