IF the parents of children responsible for attacking authorities and damaging property in Alice Springs can't control them they'll be taken into care, the NT chief minister has warned.
ADAM Giles says he won't tolerate a situation, which early on Tuesday escalated to a group of more than 50 youths throwing rocks at police, starting several fires and damaging property in the central Australian town.Police say they are concerned they are being targeted.Over the past two weeks there have been other rock-throwing incidents, one resulting in a damaged ambulance being taken off the road.The government says many of the young people responsible are from outlying, predominantly indigenous communities.Over Easter, Alice Springs hosted a metal concert, a national bike race and the AFL's Lightning Cup Carnival, with many attendees staying on for the school holidays.But there have been numerous reports of property damage since."I'm giving the parents of the children responsible for this spate of violence a very clear message: get your kids off the streets, get them back to communities and back into school," Mr Giles said in a statement late on Wednesday."Otherwise, these children will be regarded as requiring protection and we will take immediate action. Parents should not doubt our resolve to do this."Any school-age child found on the streets during school hours will now be issued with a $298 fine by school attendance officers.Minister for Children and Families John Elferink said he had directed the department "to take strong action" and put children into care where legally possible."Normally the department would see this as a last resort and be willing to work with parents but these are not normal circumstances," he said."If parents don't want to see their children in care then they need to get off the grog and head back to their home community."The government will organise bus transport for families to get them home.Mr Giles said in light of the violence the government is reconsidering supporting the Lightning Cup Carnival next year."If the organisers want taxpayers support, they best think long and hard about how they conduct their event and how to reduce the impact it has created on the town in the subsequent days," he warned.