Alcohol ban failure

28 Oct 2008 3:38 PMJann Stuckey

A worrying spike in student violence and truancy at Woorabinda State School has been blamed on the Bligh Government’s failure to provide proper rehab support services to indigenous communities now under alcohol bans.

LNP aboriginal community spokeswoman Jann Stuckey said four months ago Communities Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr dismissed questions that detox and rehab services would not be in place when the Bligh Government’s alcohol bans took effect.

“Back in June, Ms Nelson-Carr dismissed claims that the services wouldn’t be adequate, but we now learn the Government is still refurbishing the alcohol detox centre at Woorabinda,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Also the Indigenous Alcohol Diversion Program isn’t available at Woorabinda. Instead participants have to travel to Rockhampton to access the program.

“Enforced prohibitions without adequate support and education are irresponsible and sets up these communities to fail. Several months ago I said that Woorabinda was at a critical cross road with alcohol bans soon to be introduced.

“It’s shameful that the Bligh Government has not provided the necessary programs to assist in the difficult transition stage.

“The Bligh Labor Government’s one-size-fits-all ban across the State has had a very negative impact on student behaviour with school attendance rates at Woorabinda dropping 15 per cent since it was introduced.”

Ms Stuckey said the Queensland Teachers’ Union’s central regional organiser Barry Thomson reported juvenile violence had increased in Woorabinda along with drops in school attendance. In addition, student suspensions had trebled in the 10 weeks since the community had gone ‘dry’.

“There needs to be immediate action from the State Government, the local council and the community to fix this mess before it spirals further out of control,” Ms Stuckey said.

28 October 2008
Media contact:
Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919