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 policing programs or the very exciting DARE program on resistance to drugs and alcohol that is also being being run by the police. We have not lost sight of the main game in any way at all. We know that we have to address the causative issues. We know we have to educate and prevent, and that we have to deal with some of the. social circumstances that are causing people to drink. On a per capita basis, we are spending 3 to 4 times what is spent by other state governments on such programs. Quite significant funding is going into that area, but we heard nota word from the members of the oppos it i on about that. They are fri ghtened to ment i on that because it does not happen to be crit i ca 1 of the government. It would involve praising the government because we are well ahead in doing that. I could not believe my ears this afternoon when I heard the member for MacDonnell actually criticising me for having the audacity, as Minister for Health and Community Servi ces, when I happened to be in Papunya on another matter, to take time out to meet with the community to discuss health issues an'd to develop in that community a health committee for ongoing consultation and development of Aboriginal health strategies. He criticised that. I cannot believe it. I did not go there with the aim of talking about alcohol. I do not remember even mentioning Tangentyere or its strategy. I know that I discussed the health status of Aboriginal people and the need for Aboriginal people to accept responsibi 1 ity for their 1 ives, and I was most pleased at the response I recei ved from the community. I was most pleased that, in that community, as with most other central Australian communities, we were able to develop a health committee. Regional health committees are evolving. We are involving Aboriginal people in setting the direction in respect of deal ing with their health status and their health ,issues, many of which involve lifestyle problems which can be dealt with by means of behavioural change. I am really proud that I have done that. If the member for MacDonnell wants to criticise me. for that, I hope he will go to Papunya and tell the Papunya community, together with the Mutitjulu, Imanpa, Docker River, Hermannsburg, Yuendumu and other central Australian communities, that what I am doing in terms of trying to involve them in Aboriginal health issues is wrong. I hope he does that because I know the response that he will obtain from the communities. They will strong and vitriolic, and they will not be positive towards him. They want to be involved, and I intend to involve them. If I happen to be in a particular community for the purpose of a parliamentary committee meeting, as I was on that particular occasion, after I finished my duties on that committee, I will take the opportunity to carry out work for which I am responsible as a minister. I do not care what commun i ty it is. I wi 11 do the same wherever I am. I hope peop 1 e wi 11 criticise me for doing it because it will rebound on them if they do. Why should I waste government money on making a separate trip to consult with a community? When I am in a community for any reason, I will maximise the time that I am there for the benefit of the community. I love the fact that the member for MacDonnell criticises me: for that. In fact, I might even go out of my way to ensure that central Australian communities are aware that the honourable member does not 1 i ke me consu lt i ng them, as Mi ni ster for Health and Community Services, on health issues or alcohol-related issues. I might just take the time t~ pass that message on to his current constituents. Mrs Padgham-Purich: You will not have time to do that before the election. 10 706