Statement from Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt:
Alcohol is, without doubt, the single most damaging thing introduced to Indigenous communities. Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs) were an important response by the former Labor Government to address alcohol misuse and today’s decision allows them to continue to play an integral role at this time.
The provision of a safe environment for all members of the discrete communities – especially women, children and the elderly – must continue to be number one consideration going forward.
The current Minister overseeing AMPs Glen Elmes has said publicly that the plans have been effective in reducing crime and boosting school attendance, which directly repudiates Campbell Newman’s politically-motivated comments to the contrary.
I condemn anyone using this issue to play politics in any way – it is too important and the government needs to tread carefully on this potentially emotive and divisive issue.
The State Opposition has pledged to be an active participant into the review of AMPs and we understand the importance of empowering local communities, to provide them with community ownership of any potential solution.
However we don’t believe that the State Government should completely abrogate its responsibility to manage the availability and responsible consumption of alcohol in Indigenous communities.
As a baseline policy position, the LNP should not endorse any plans that will increase the flow of alcohol into Indigenous communities without the focus remaining on the wellbeing of vulnerable community members, including women and children.