Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Thursday 16 August 1990 a principle, you can't accept our solution to take the right away from us'. This places me in a dilemma. I cannot sit back and say that these poor fellows just do not understand what anti-discrimination is about and they wi 11 simply have to 1 ive with it. That was why I wrote to the Prime Minister recently. It was a genuine letter. I turned to the Prime Minister and indicated that I have this dilemma. I asked him to suggest any courses of action that the federal and Territory governments might be able to pursue. I hope that he will respond in a genuine way and that we might have somewhere to move. I. do pay particular attention to the comments of people who have particular experience of Aboriginal ways. It is very interesting to listen to the member for Arafura, for example, when he is addressing these questions in the House. We apply our European perceptions to solving these problems. I understand very little about Aboriginal ways, but what I do understand 1 eads me to the bel i ef that, in many respects, we are way off-beam in respect of our treatment of Aborigines. We apply our own. judgments to our percept i on of everyth i ng from the time of day to mora 1 questions of what is right or wrong or what is good or bad. With the best of intentions, we and our predecessors have been doing that for decades, but we have not found all the answers. lapp 1 aud the member for Arafura' s commun ity. Recent 1 y, they debated this matter among themselves. Already they have quite stringent restrictions on the availabil ity of alcohol, particularly at Nguiu. They have now dec i ded to raise the age at wh i ch persons may have access to alcohol to 21. That is fine; I applaud it. In central Australia, in the north and elsewhere, people are asking not only for a particular takeaway 1 i cence to be removed but a 1 so for 1 oca 1 1 i cences to be removed tota 11 y . I believe there is a move by some Aboriginal organisations to try to buy licences with a view to closing the outlets. They are talking about buying. a roadhouse and shutting it down in a genuine attempt to try to deny Aboriginal access. The move to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 is also an effort to deny access. In a sense, I do not deserve the crit i c ism that I have recei ved for saying that some Aborigines are asking that access be denied totally. It is really an extension of some of these things that are being' clutched at by the commuhity at Nguiu which is pulling the rope back in on people's access. We are really talking about how far to go in terms of denying access. Obviously, denying access in a limited fashion is not the total answer because we are all aware the enormous lengths that people will go to provide alcohol to Aborigines or to which Aborigines themselves will go when alcohol is denied to them. We know of the flights to Port Keats at $100 a carton. Examples have been cited in the past that demonstrate that, if grog was not avai lable at 1 1 icensed outlet, people were prepared to drive 500 km or whatever to the next one. If they had the money and the transport, it would not matter if it were 1000 km. As long as there is ali cence in the Northern Territory that sell s takeaway 1 i quor, 1 i ke bees at a honey pot, peop 1 e wi 11 be 1 i ned up and they will take it away as rapidly as the staff can hand it across the counter. They wi 11 di stri bute it from one end of the Terri tory to the other. Of course, if it is not available in the Territory, people will go over the border to Kununurra or to Mt I sa un 1 ess we persuade the whole country to move to prohibition, and that is pretty unlikely. I am a bit sceptical about these constant calls that the answer lies in reducing the number of takeaway 1 icences even though I have acknowledged 9959

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.