Territory Stories

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 Perhaps it would have only a minimal impact on the amount of alcohol that the culprits consume. However, if they have to walk an extra 3 km or 4 km into town to pick up their alcohol, perhaps that will provide a dis i ncent i ve. More important 1 y, they wi 11 be out of everyone else's way. It will not solve the inherent prob 1 em of those people's abuse of a 1 coho 1 and nobody is suggest i ng that it will. However, it wi 11 tidy up the town a 1 ittle. I think that is a worthwhile motive. Certainly, the majority of people in the Northern Territory believe it is. The member for MacDonnell referred to Bob Collins' vociferous rejection of the Chief Minister's suggestion that people who are incapable of drinking ought to be prohibited from drinking. That was not an expression of the Chief Minister's own thoughts. It came from traditional Aboriginal people who were asking for help in relation to people who abuse alcoho.l. Bob Collins berated members of parliament for their drinking. Of course, there are members of parli ament here and elsewhere who do not mi nd a cold beer on a hot day. The odd ones may - although not in th i spar 1 i ament, of course - drink excessively .... Other members may know a personal example. Hon Senator Colli ns has the hypocri sy to be tal ki ng about other peop 1 e' s drinking habits when he himself is a champagne socialist. If there were a prohibition on the consumption of champagne, I suppose Senator Collins himself would have a great deal of difficulty in coming to terms with it. Mr Speaker, quite simply .. Mr Coulter: I would not mind the champagne, but I would hate to have to supply him with the food. Mr FINCH: I can remember a time when he used to knock over 6 hamburgers with the 1 ot and 2 cartons of iced coffee for 1 unch . However, those times have changed. Now he can travel fi rst class and dri nk as much champagne as he likes. I .have a difficulty with his interpretation of section 122 of the act. Whilst it gives a power to prohibit a person from drinking, the process is very cumbersome. A separate application must be made for each individual. Groups of people cannot be dealt wi th. Each i ndi vi dua 1 must be passed through the entire process of the law, which is an extremely cumbersome process that provides a totally impracticable solution. The emptying of cans of beer and flagons of wine in the Todd or wherever else will have an immedi ate impact. There is no doubt at all that it will di scourage people from consuming alcohol in a publ ic place, and that is the intention of the legislation. The ALP policy to discard the act altogether is shameful. Residents of towns have a right to move quietly about their own areas without being hassled by drunks. The combination of strategies that this government is attempting to implement to remove this half of the problem - that is, the effect on others - will be seen to be practical. We are moving on a number of fronts, inc 1 ud i ng the invest i gat i on of more effect i ve ways of enforc i ng the current requirement to not serve alcohol to intoxicated persons. To conclude, a matter was raised by the member for Nhulunbuy in regard to a 1 icence in his area. It has nothing really to do with this bi 11, but it mi ght as we 11 be addressed. He suggested that the 1 i quor commi ss i on was not facing its responsibility in terms of interpreting community attitudes. In fact, quite the opposite is the truth. Through its normal processes, the commi ss i on advert i sed that an app 1 i cat i on had been made by the supermarket in Nhulunbuy, and that was the time at which the community had the opportunity to express its view - not now, 2!:2 years later, when it is too 10 701