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 - Tuesdat 2 October 1990 there we cou 1 d look at the Ludmill a supermarket ex amp 1 e. How long do we intend to allow people to submit application after application for a liquor licence when previous applications have been refused and when, quite clearly, the local community does not want another liquor outlet? Isn't it time for us to take a stand and to support the people in the community who say that alcohol is too freely available, that we have enough liquor outlets and that enough is enough? The Ludmilla supermarket example is a very good one in terms of the government's failure to support a very simple amendment introduced by this opposition. I have taken the trouble to talk to the people who will be most directly affected by the enforcement of this amendment - the police. Mr Speaker, I can tell you that police officers do not support this legislation. They do not believe that the 2 km law, as it presently exists, has been particularly successful. The reason why they do not support these additional provisions is simple. For them, it will mean an addit i ona 1 role. It wi 11 mean an increased 1 i ke 1 i hood of confl i ct and violence being directed towards them for what they see as a limited purpose. The member for Stuart indicated quite clearly how this law will be avoi ded and that it wi 11 not resolve the problems that everybody acknowledges exist. In a recent example, an Aboriginal person died in the water gardens in the member for Jingili's electorate. That death was probably alcohol-related and I understand that it is possibly a case of homicide. It occurred on Crown land. This legislation will not resolve the problems which lead to such situations. The first task is to find out why peop 1 e choose - if that is the ri ght word - to 1 i ve in such envi ronments. The next task is to get them out of those envi ronments. That is how the problems will be solved. Those people who 1 i ve in that i so 1 ated part of the electorate of. Jingili - and, in a comparative sense, it is isolated - will have all the time in the world to see or hear the police coming, to hide their opened cans of alcohol and to make this law ineffective. Of course, that is really beside the point. I have no doubt that, in that community and in similar communities which are dotted around our urban areas, there are people whose 1 ives are at risk. There are people who are steadily, and sometimes quite quickly, literally drinking themselves to death. I believe that, as a community, we have a responsibil ity towards those people. We are not exercising that responsibil ity by introducing this simple amendment. It will not do the job. To return to a point which I made earlier, I accept that no one in this community has the right to hassle other people in publ ic places or to diminish our lifestyle by their actions in public places. In fact, one of the major problems resulting from drinking in public places is the litter that is left behind. That is a problem of quite considerable consequence in certa in parts of the Darwi n urban area. I go past places on a regul ar bas i s where there is more and more litter every day. Recently, I had occasion to telephone the Department of Lands and Housing to ask it to clean up a block next to the Nightcliff Hotel. Extensive drinking had been occurring on that block. The poi nt is that 1 aws exi st at present to deal with that type of hassle. Laws exist to deal with people who accost others, who demand money from other people and who try to seize supermarket trolleys from other people. Laws exist to cover eventualities of that kind. However, the amendments which the government is advocating today do not address the real issue. The minister responsible for the Racing, Gaming and Liquor 10 704
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