Gorge community gets some champion help
MOSSMAN Gorge has hosted both its official government and ministerial “champions” again, in signs that the rebooted ‘Government Champions’ program is paying dividends for the community.
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath, who is the Palaszczuk Government Ministerial Champion for Mossman Gorge, and her counterpart, Director-General of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General David Mackie visited the far north community on Thursday as a follow-up to previous visits where they were introduced to community leaders.
President of Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Aboriginal Corporation (BBN) and community leader Karen Gibson said the Government Champions program was fantastic.
“It’s a great opportunity because it makes our voice a little louder,” said Ms Gibson.
The champions program was reinvigorated under the Palaszczuk Government this year, and is promoted as a way for indigenous communities to have their voices heard by assigning them ‘champions’ in both the government bureaucracy and in parliament.
Ms D’Ath said that at her previous meeting in July a number of issues were raised that herself and Mr Mackie would endeavour to help with.
“As with many indigenous communities across Queensland there are a number of issues that were raised with me as matters of concern … having spoken to the community leaders, I understand that the community is very keen to work to improve the relationship between government and non-government organisations, specifically in relation to issues around cask wine consumption, relations with the local Police, and family and domestic violence.
“These issues are ones which commonly affect a number of indigenous communities, and I’ve already had a number of suggestions from the leaders of Mossman Gorge as to what can be done locally to address these,” said Ms D’Ath.
The latest meeting between community leaders and their champions also included representatives from Queensland Police, who were invited to talk about possible solutions. Douglas Shire Council was also represented by Mayor Julia Leu.
Ms Gibson said that getting leaders and stakeholders together was a great opportunity to move things forward.
“We’ve got the key players there to say yes or no. Big problems often have simple solutions, but it’s a case of having that access that allows it all to happen.”
She highlighted a desire to see the community receive the same service as infrastructure as other parts of Mossman, in a move to have it regarded as another suburb of the town.”
The Mossman Gorge Community was visited by both their government and ministerial champions with Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath and Director-General of the Justice Department and the Attorney-General David Mackie returning to the Far North to talk solutions with community leaders and stakeholders.