Ku­randa march has cre­ated ice aware­ness

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS - Pete Martinelli

PEO­PLE touched by the drug ice hope their de­mands for a proac­tive ap­proach to sav­ing Ku­randa from its ef­fects are acted upon by politi­cians.

Ma­reeba Mayor Tom Gil­more told 50 peo­ple at the March Against Ice at Ku­randa yes­ter­day that the event must lead to a so­lu­tion.

“We must have an out­come,” he said. “A feel-good ex­er­cise is a waste of time.”

He be­lieved at least one marcher had in­for­ma­tion about ice deal­ing in Ku­randa.

“The first thing that must hap­pen is for them to call Crime Stop­pers,” he said.

The march was the brain­child and hard­work of lo­cal indige­nous el­der Manny Ross.

“We have lost peo­ple in this community, and it hurts,” he said.

“We’re not try­ing to point the bone at any­body but we care about our com­mu­ni­ties and we need to un­der­stand ice be­fore we can un­der­stand what our kids are go­ing through.

“We need to un­der­stand it first be­fore we can help them.”

The march down Coon­doo St was planned by Mr Ross with sup­port from the Ngoonbi Community Ser­vices indige­nous Cor­po­ra­tion.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Le­ich­hardt War­ren Entsch backed community calls for an Ice Fo­rum.

“I’ll be there with bells on,” he said.

“I’ll make sure that any­one who needs to be there to lis­ten to their community can get there.

“I think it is crit­i­cal that they do this as part of the process.”

Mr Entsch said any pos­si­ble re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre should be wel­comed by both sides of pol­i­tics.

“This is a to­tally bi­par­ti­san ini­tia­tive in sup­port of a community that has said ‘we are not go­ing to cop this any­more’,” he said.

He said any drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre would need to be lo­cal.

“You need fam­ily and friends there ... that are sup­port­ing you,” he said.

Picture: Bren­dan Radke

Ku­randa res­i­dents have marched to­gether along Coon­doo Streeet and into Cen­te­nary Park stand­ing united and de­mand­ing ac­tion on the use of the drug methy­lam­phetamine in the town, more com­monly known as ice. Long time Ku­randa lo­cal Yanzy Mullar was very vo­cal at the march.

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