Thursday, 23 March 2023
Northern Territory Safe Measures Bill 2023; Second Reading
I won't reflect on the motivation behind the Prime Minister's short visit to Alice Springs, but I will observe that it was a very short visit to Alice Springs and yet he managed to find three days to spend at the Australian Open.
What we do know is that the media focus actually did force change, finally. It did force a recognition of the issues that governments had been warned would happen if they removed the cashless debit card and reversed the onus of the alcohol prohibitions. Senator Price, Senator Liddle and others from Northern Territory communities, who have constantly brought to light the real tragedies occurring in these communities each and every day, deserve to be commended.
Senator Price's bill's intention is to protect all Territorians, especially those most vulnerable Territorians who face alcohol addiction or associated harms from family members with alcohol addiction—the related harms those bring for them, their families and the wider community. I congratulate Senator Price and I thank her for her tireless work. I thank her for bringing these issues to this place, raising them so that we should all be listening. What is happening in the communities in and around Central Australia is a tragedy that need not be. With this bill, we can start to put in place mechanisms that allow communities to introduce harm-reduction policies and to look at what can be done to ensure that their children are safe, their wives are safe and their families are safe. I thank Senator Price for her tireless work, and I trust and implore all senators in this place to have the courage and decency to support this bill. I commend the bill to the chamber.