Can­di­date vis­its Gorge

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Moya Stevens

LNP can­di­date for the state seat of Cook, Penny John­son, and the Shadow Min­is­ter for Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Part­ner­ship and Mul­ti­cul­tural Af­fairs, Steve Min­nikin, met with mem­bers of Ba­manga Bubu Ngadimunku (BBN) man­age­ment and Gorge com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives last Thurs­day to hear the con­cerns and as­pi­ra­tions of the com­mu­nity.

“This is an in­for­mal visit to meet the peo­ple of the com­mu­nity and to talk eye to eye about the is­sues of great­est con­cern,” Mr Min­nikin said.

“To fully un­der­stand things, you have to leave Bris­bane and meet the peo­ple, be­cause emails and photos don’t tell the whole story,” he said.

Land­scape and Main­te­nance Man­ager Richard Burchill ex­plained to the Shadow Min­is­ter that eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment can only be dis­cussed when men­tal health, sui­cide and other per­sonal is­sues are ad­dressed.

“All the em­ploy­ment and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment projects are just band aid solutions,” Mr Burchill said, “and we can’t go for­ward un­til we have looked at the past.”

“Our peo­ple are dif­fer­ent peo­ple on coun­try,” he con­tin­ued, “and it’s where we can talk freely.”

The Shadow Min­is­ter said “take me out to your coun­try where I can hear your peo­ple’s sto­ries”.

BBN chief ex­ec­u­tive Emma Burchill said there were many mat­ters that were to be dis­cussed such as land ac­cess, eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties on coun­try, ca­pac­ity build­ing lead­ing to jobs and em­pow­er­ment to man­age so­cial ser­vices and pro­grams.

“A big con­ver­sa­tion needed,” Ms Burchill said.

Penny John­son said this was the start of a re­la­tion­ship build­ing process and iden­ti­fy­ing what mat­tered to the peo­ple who lived here.

Ms John­son and fam­ily lived in Mossman and she said she has “a deep per­sonal con­nec­tion” to the peo­ple of BBN. is

Picture: MOYA STEVENS

Sit­ting from left: Emma Birchill, Steve Min­nikin, Uki Burchill. Stand­ing - Richard Burchill, stand­ing cen­tre Penny John­son.

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