News

A decade between “cheers”

Mornington Island residents enjoyed a great evening at Lelka Murrin Tavern while listening to Warren H Williams for most, this was the first cold, alcoholic beverage in a decade. Mayor Wilson says, “as Mayor of Mornington Shire, it brings me such pride to see local…

Remote upgrade underway

Keen eyes would have spotted the new building installed at the Mornington Island Aerodrome last Saturday!

This will be the new airport waiting room while the old terminal is demolished and the new one built.

Once we’re ready to open it up, this will be where Rex tickets are collected from.

Stay tuned for further details!

Council makes waves in Canberra

Our Mornington Shire Council leaders are boarding the plane back from Parliament House, Canberra to Mornington Island following several high level meetings regarding topics such as Service Delivery Reforms, Direct Funding and Social Housing

Mayor Bradley Wilson says “the meetings with the ministers were extremely positive and we are committed to working together to provide better outcomes for the residents of #Gununa”.

“Our community need to be the voice that determines what is delivered on the ground and to have ministers support our vision is a great achievement for our region” Mayor Wilson adds

“As Mayor of the Mornington Shire, I can certainly say our meetings this week with Minister Scullion, Senator Dodson, Senator Hanson’s advisors and Senator Fifield’s advisors have strengthened our voice and our cause.”

“Together, we will steer our vision in the right direction for our community”

“We are working hard with all tiers of government to ensure our voices are heard”

Prohibition needs to end

‘Prohibition has never worked anywhere in the world’
The unintended consequences of the AMPs does not stop with sly grogging.

On the nearby community of Mornington Island, a toxic home brew — characterised by its high ethanol content — has ripped through households.

Stashes of illegal alcohol found in Doomadgee
PHOTO More than half of the state’s Indigenous adult population has a criminal charge relating to AMPs.
SUPPLIED: QUEENSLAND POLICE SERVICE
Frank Mills, the CEO of Mornington Shire Council, said the “hot brew” had its own special recipe made with a potent brewers yeast that sped up the fermentation process.

He has pleaded with the state government to ban the product and stop his residents being “slowly killed”.

“The home brew that’s getting brewed at the moment [has such high] levels of toxicity that it’s actually poisoning people, it’s causing organ failure,” Mr Mills said.

“It’s reputedly instantly addictive [with] very high alcohol content [and] no sugar content.

Home brew in Indigenous communities
PHOTO A toxic home brew, characterised by high ethanol content, has ripped through households.
SUPPLIED: QUEENSLAND POLICE SERVICE
“You’ve got two or three generations on Mornington Island, whose only type of alcohol they know about is home brew.”

Mr Mills also argued the AMPs had failed on multiple levels.

A council-led analysis of the policy’s impact found almost 40 per cent of presentations at Mornington Island’s hospital and health services were from intoxicated patients.

“How then can you say this is working?” he asked.

“Prohibition has never worked anywhere in the world.”

Across the state, the illegal alcohol trade has landed thousands of people in court.

James Cook University professor Alan Clough spent years researching the policy, and said he felt it criminalised Indigenous people.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.
VIDEO 0:34 A man shows police his slash of home brew.
ABC NEWS
“The last estimate we had, the numbers [of people] with a charge of at least one breach was 60 per cent, so that’s 6000 adults,” he said.

“That was quite a while ago now so that number may have increased substantially.”

Professor Clough agreed any early positive changes as a result of the restrictions were no longer being achieved.

“We’re seeing indications that the positive effects that were so hard won by 2008 may be unravelling,” he said.

“There clearly needs to be some creative solutions to refreshing the policy, and by that I don’t mean tightening restrictions.”

The outskirts of Doomadgee, where the sign advertising the start of alcohol restrictions has been torn down.
PHOTO The sign advertising the start of alcohol restrictions at Doomadgee has been torn down.
ABC NEWS: ALLYSON HORN
Councils have been lobbying the state government to amend the law, and it has been under official review for six years with no change.

The Government would not say whether it believed the law was working or had achieved its aims, but acknowledged the concerns around sly grogging and home brew.

The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs said “improving the safety and wellbeing of community members will continue to be the focus of Alcohol Management and the review, which is expected to be finalised by early 2019”.

Alcohol litters the roadside on the outskirts of Doomadgee
PHOTO Alcohol litters the roadside on the outskirts of Doomadgee, June 2018.
ABC NEWS: ALLYSON HORN