Gorge com­mu­nity gets some cham­pion help

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

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.”

Pic­ture: Scott Tib­balls

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.

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