Prime Minister Julia Gillard has completely misrepresented
actions concerning alcohol management in Queensland Indigenous
Communities, according to Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs Glen
Mr Elmes said claims by Ms Gillard that the Queensland Government was planning to wind back alcohol restrictions were untrue.
“Playing politics is one thing but misrepresenting the facts is quite another,” Mr Elmes said.
“The Newman Government is giving Indigenous communities across the State a say in their own future.
“Our approach is to work with these communities individually. We will not impose an edict from Brisbane on a community in Cape York or any other place, and neither should the Federal Government.”
In her fifth ‘Closing the Gap” statement, the Prime Minister told Federal Parliament she feared “that the rivers of grog that wreaked such havoc among Indigenous communities are starting to flow again”.
“What the Prime Minister failed to acknowledge was the importance of Indigenous communities coming up with solutions to their own individual issues,” Mr Elmes said.
“We recognise that some Indigenous communities are struggling with alcohol issues.
“That is why these communities are going through a very mature debate amongst their people to come up with their own management plans.
“Of course, what works in one community may not work in another.
“Our government will listen to the local Mayors and leaders, but there is no preconception the review into alcohol management plans will automatically lead to a relaxation or removal of alcohol restrictions.
“The bottom line for the review is that any changes to current restrictions will not be at the cost of adverse community impacts, particularly in levels of violence and neglect directed towards women and children.”
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier
The Honourable Glen Elmes
6th of February 2013