Wine not

Bishop laments dry church bid

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Peter de Krui­jff

The Catholic Bishop of Broome has sought an ex­emp­tion for the Kalum­buru Mis­sion from a pro­posed tight­en­ing of liquor re­stric­tions in the North Kim­ber­ley com­mu­nity.

As is stands, the by-laws of the com­mu­nity, which has a pop­u­la­tion of 412, al­ready for­bids al­co­hol be­ing con­sumed but this does not ex­tend to the church, which is on free­hold land and pro­vides lim­ited pow­ers for po­lice to con­fis­cate liquor.

The Kalum­buru Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion’s lead­er­ship group ap­plied in De­cem­ber 2016 for the com­mu­nity to be­come a des­ig­nated dry one un­der Sec­tion 175 of the Liquor Con­trol Act.

KAC chair­man Cle­ment Mar­al­tadj said there had been prob­lems with Kalum­buru and al­co­hol in the past.

“The only rea­sons we want re­stric­tions, is dur­ing dry sea­son there’s a lot of al­co­hol pour­ing in,” he said. “Fights start and every­one in (the) com­mu­nity gets in­volved and it’s no good for the com­mu­nity, no good for any­one.

“We want re­stric­tions on even the mis­sion; part of (the) plan was even the mis­sion gets al­co­hol re­stric­tions.”

Mr Mar­al­tadj said the one ex­cep­tion would be for the drink­ing of wine for cer­e­mo­nial pur­poses at the church.

The ban also would not ex­tend to the coastal and tourism camps about 20km from the com­mu­nity.

Kalum­buru Mis­sion falls un­der the Broome Dio­cese, led by Bishop Christo­pher Saun­ders, who said he would not be im­pressed with any puni­tive laws against the mis­sion, which was on free­hold land but within the com­mu­nity’s bound­aries.

He said staff at the in­sti­tute had been en­joy­ing a glass of wine with their meals since 1908, when it was founded as the Drys­dale River Mis­sion by Bene­dic­tine monks from New Nor­cia. Bishop Saun­ders said he had writ­ten to the pre­vi­ous WA Min­is­ter for Rac­ing, Gam­ing and Liquor and the cur­rent one, Paul Pa­palia, about the is­sue but had not re­ceived a re­sponse.

Mr Pa­palia, who vis­ited Kalum­buru last month, told the Broome Ad­ver­tiser his visit was part of the process of the com­mu­nity seek­ing a liquor ban.

“At the end of that process . . . you go visit the com­mu­nity in­volved and seek guidance — that’s what the lead­er­ship still wants,” he said. “Once we’ve done that, in about a month’s time, a law will be passed and there’ll be an al­co­hol ban in Kalum­buru.”

Mr Mar­al­tadj and KAC di­rec­tor Clar­rie Djang­harra see the ban as one of the many pos­i­tive steps hap­pen­ing in Kalum­buru.

Mr Djang­harra said there were sev­eral ex­cit­ing projects hap­pen­ing through East Kim­ber­ley Job Path­ways, where par­tic­i­pants are learn­ing to grow veg­eta­bles and are set­ting up a me­chan­i­cal work­shop, which will hope­fully be op­er­at­ing in the dry sea­son.

Pic­ture: Glenn Cordingley

Bishop of Broome Christo­pher Saun­ders says peo­ple work­ing at the mis­sion should be able to still have a glass of wine with din­ner as they have had since 1908.

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