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 1 ate. The 1 i cence has been approved and granted. The management of the supermarket has determined not to proceed as yet with the implementation of the opportuniti es that that 1 i cence provi des to it. I do not know when or indeed if it intends to ut il i se the 1 i cence. But, if and when they dec ide to 'do so, there will be another opportunity for the community to express its concern if it is believed that the licence is having an adverse effect on the community. Unfortunately, in his slack fashion, the member for Nhulunbuy cries 2!:2 years after the, licence has been granted. If he was aware of the concerns of this community at the time when the licence application was made and advertised in the press, he should have said so. He should have encouraged people to put submissions to the commission. However, they did not do so. I do not bel ieve that the honourable member is even in touch with the views of his constituents at the moment, and I think that the sooner we see the back end of him the better. This is a practical, meaningful bill, and I support it. Mr SMITH (Opposition Leader): Mr Speaker, the whole subject of alcohol is an important issue. That is why I have stayed in the Chamber throughout this debate to hear the contributions and I must say that, on the whole, they have been of a high standard. There is no doubt that there is a recognition across the Chamber that we are dealing with a very serious matter. We may have some differences of opinion about how that may be best handled, but certainly no one denies that it is important that something be done. I think the debate has been carried on in a positive frame of mind, and that it has been meaningful. For example, I fi nd myself agreei ng wi th many of the comments of the member for Katherine, and I do not often find myself in a position to say that. I thought that the member for Stuart, probably more eloquently than most, expressed the concern, the distaste and, on occasions, the horror that we all experience from time to time in relation to drunken people in our community. There is no doubt that drunken people in our community are a bloody nuisance, to be blunt about it, and they impinge on the lives of many of us. I have found that, particularly if you are a politician, they are a damned nuisance on many occasions. But, to be frank, I do, not find that many of those who are drunk and a damn nuisance are in that condition as a result of dri nki ngin public places. When I have been accosted by drunks, it is more likely that they have been on licensed premises, are staggering out'of licensed premises or have returned home, from licensed premises. The other side of it is this. Recently, I had occasion to go to a small Aboriginal urban community at 9 am or 9.30 am. I found that a considerable number of the population already had started their drinking session for the day. Frankly, that is where I come from in this debate. We have a major problem with a group of ,people in the community. The affected black people are more visible than the white, but there is a group of people in the community who are using alcohol irresponsibly. If they are drinking at 9 am, and I have no doubt that they do it on a regular basis, I believe they are drinking alcohol irresponsibly and at a considerable cost to themselves, to their families and to the community in general. We all know what the cost of alcohol is to the community in general. Actually, we do not know, but stabs have been made at a figure and $200m a year was a reasonab ly well-accepted stab. That is an enormous cost both for the individuals and the community. In a sense, when that type of problem is facing us in the community, it does not particularly matter where the drinking takes place. The major 10 702

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