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
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 2 October 1990 period of its term a future L'abor government would implement its platform policy on the legalisation of marijuana. This was to include the ability for people to grow their own at home. He said that it would not happen in the first year. Mrs Padgham-Purich: Not in the first term was what he said. Mr PERRON: No. If I 'recall rightly, he said not in the first year. I wondered whether it would be in years 2, 3 or 4. However, it did seem that he was backing away rapidly from yet another section of the ALP platform. One might be pleased that they are backing away from their platform, but it does make one wonder what the 'commun ity is supposed to expect from a po 1 it i ca 1 party that hol ds up a document as bei ng what it stands for and then walks away from it so readily and so often. What does this have to do with the current debate? In that platform, there is a pledge to abolish the 2 km law which is describe~ as a '~emeaning law'. What did we hear today? Is this yet another walking away from the platform document? Perhaps it is. I confess that I did not hear every speaker, but I did not hear any member opposite take the opportunity to say that not only should this law not be amended but it should be abolished. That is what the ALP platform requ ires. There was not a word about that. They are all lambs. The strongest they could say was that they did not think that this amending legislation would work. What do they stand for? I do not mi nd them di sagreei ng with. the government. The more they disagree, the better. I would like people in the community to know that there are very clear distinctions between this side of the House and that ,andi ndeed there are. I am happy for them to have policies that vary from ours. I simply think they ought to have the courage to stand up and support them. My 1 ast poi nt relates to a statement by the member for Nhu 1 unbuy who should know better. He has an electorate which includes a significant number of Aboriginals and I concede that probably he has some experience of Aboriginal attitudes. Nevertheless, basically, he ran aline which we hear from time to time: if you reduce the number of liquor outlets, you will reduce the consumption. I am afraid that I have not been convinced of that matter yet. We have evidence of planes being chartered and $100 paid for a carton for beer every week because the local club has shut down. ,We hear of the enormous lengths to which chronic Aboriginal drinkers will go to obtain vehicles to reach the nearest drinking hole. It is naive to think that, if 1 roadhouse is shut down, that does not simply transfer the problem to yet another. The same applies: in a town, particularly a town like Nhulunbuy. As the honourable member said, it has a hotel and a club and .. Mr Collins: Supermarket. Mr PERRON: The supermarket has not quite got a licence yet. The other is a surf club. To think that, if we took 1 or 2 of those licences out of Nhulunbuy, there would be any less drinking is sheer nonsense. Is the honourable member saying that the people in Nhulunbuy would not walk 0.25 km to the next outlet? Of course they would. What a load of drivel we hear from members opposite about those matters. Finally, in the past, we have all been gui lty of saying that Aborigines cannot handle drink and that they are the problem in the community. From my observation, I would say that the percentage of Aborigines who drink alcohol is probably far less than the percentage of non-Aborigines who drink 10 709
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