Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price says the Northern Territory’s (NT) youth crime problems are a direct result of the failure to protect kids from abuse, and it may take the Australian Federal Police (AFP) or Australian Defence Force (ADF) to solve the problem. Responding to footage of joy riding in her hometown of Alice Springs, the Coalition senator said the problem of youth crime in the NT is “absolutely out of control, and has been for some time”. “There are numerous members of the community whose homes have been broken into. We have this situation now with kids stealing cars and going on joy rides,” Senator Price said. “I had a prowler looking through the windows of my own house when my 21 year old son was home.” Senator Price argued drastic action is needed because the Northern Territory government has completely failed to address the problem, whether it was in Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek, or even Darwin.

“It’s getting to the point we might have to call in the AFP. Is it the AFP, is it the ADF? Do we need soldiers on our streets to bring about some calm? Senator Price said the problem was a direct result of the government’s failure to protect young people from abuse, saying racism and a lack of consequences are to blame. “The problem starts when these people are children when they’re not being protected from abuse -sexual abuse – from dysfunctional households,” she said. “They are left to remain in that dysfunction because they are indigenous kids and because there is this whole idea that we’re somehow going to have another stolen generation and that its racist to remove these kids from these circumstances. “Well this is the result of not removing kids from this dysfunction, they end up on the streets joy riding. “They end up being locked up, but there is this lack of consequences as we go along from when they were small children to when they’re becoming adults.

No consequences for these kids enforced by parents when they were younger. No consequences now when they are committing crime. They’re getting away with it and that’s why they continue to do it. Senator Price was also asked about the NT government’s proposed changes to their anti-discrimination laws, which have been harshly criticised by the Catholic school sector. “This is an attack on religious freedom, this is an attack on faith schools in the Northern Territory,” she said. “Education is so important, and you can’t tell me that these schools of faith haven’t delivered some of the best education outcomes for students in the Northern Territory. Now they’re proposing to weaken and dismantle them, and to interfere in how they operate? If the NT government invested as much energy into taking care of vulnerable kids and making sure crime is not being committed on our streets as they invest into attacking our faith schools they might actually get something done.

In relation to the Northern Territory government plans on removing an exemption within the anti-discrimination act that would allow faith-based schools to hire staff based on their religion and beliefs, Darwin’s Catholic Church Bishop Charles Gauci says he will consider closing the Northern Territory’s 18 Catholic colleges and schools if the government proceeds with this legislation. These schools employ more than 1,200 people and have more than 5,000 students. “If we cannot run Catholic schools according to Catholic teaching, if you cannot be authentic, what’s the point of having them?”, Bishop Gauci said.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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