By ERWIN CHLANDA
A youth curfew is back on the Town Council’s agenda but at least two councillors are saying that before local government becomes involved, it should check what the NT Government’s intentions are about juvenile delinquency.
Cr Eli Melky has put a motion on notice for next Tuesday’s meeting that the council urges the government to consider empowering youth services providers and police to issue on the spot curfew orders to youths under 15 who are in Alice Springs and are deemed to be be in harm’s way.
But Cr Brendan Heenan says: “Who the hell is going to run this, pick up the young people – and take them where?
“In many cases their homes are more dangerous than the streets.
“And who will pay for it – not the council, surely.
“We must not go off half-cocked.”
Cr Liz Martin (pictured; she heads up the National Road Transport Hall of Fame) says her stance of opposing a youth curfew has not changed.
She says there is no one size fits all solution, and measures such as “tough love” institutions, giving them “some sort of life strategy,” psychiatric care and mandatory detention instead of bail should be considered: “It’s the same kids who re-offend. They blow bail.”
She has seen it in the Top End: children would be released from the Wildman River facility, left to their own devices, and soon be back in youth custody.
“And many of those who didn’t had gone to the adult gaol.”
The motion will be discussed in the open part of Tuesday’s meeting by the elected members. The public can ask questions at the start of the meeting.