Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Curtis Pitt, has cautiously welcomed a review of Alcohol Management Plans for indigenous communities in Queensland.
“The Opposition believes the government needs to tread carefully on this potentially emotive and divisive issue and I note Minister Elmes has committed to a review on a community-by-community basis,” Mr Pitt said.
“We believe that the provision of a safe environment for all members of the 19 discrete indigenous communities, especially women, children and the elderly, is absolutely paramount and must be the guiding principle of the review and any of its outcomes.
“The review announced by the LNP today largely adopts the previous Labor Government’s position on AMPs, where they were never going to be removed if there was a chance of increased violence in a community.
“The reality of governing is setting in for the LNP, who will be receiving strong advice not to mess with AMPs, from stakeholders such as the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Health.
“Stakeholders such as the QPS and Queensland Health manage the violence and deal with the aftermath in communities and will be advocating a more targeted approach to AMPs.
Mr Pitt said the AMPs, instituted after the 2001 Cape York Justice Study, were never meant to be in place indefinitely.
“We have always recognised that appropriate reviews and consultation should occur periodically to ensure the best possible plan is in place for each community to minimise harm through the use of alcohol,” he said.
“We understand the importance of empowering local communities, to provide them with community ownership of any potential solution.
“While we welcome the review, it is essential the government in consultation with communities maintains appropriate safeguards if any AMPs are dismantled to ensure the protection of community members.”
Mr Pitt said the Labor Party was currently reviewing all of its policies and welcomed any community feedback on future strategies to minimise harm as a result of alcohol use.
He said interested individuals or groups could submit their ideas to:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Post: PO Box 15057, City East QLD 4002.