Safety of women and children paramount in alcohol review – minister

The government will not liberalise indigenous communities’ alcohol management plans in in any way that will put women and children at risk, Queensland Parliament was told yesterday.

The Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, Glen Elmes, said revised plans needed to ensure women and children were not bashed or neglected.

In answer to a question from Katter Australia Party MP Rob Katter, Mr Elmes said he had begun consultations with indigenous communities over reviewing the management plans.

“Only a matter of days ago I visited Weipa, Napranum, Hope Vale and Palm Island, and I had detailed conversations with the mayors and community leaders in those communities,” he said.

He said he told the leaders it was an issue that needed to be worked through very carefully in the communities.

“They have to consult very widely in their community,” he said.

“We are not going to liberalise, if indeed that is what the community wishes, some of these laws and see women and children either bashed or neglected.

“The plans need to make sure that kids go to school. The plans need to ensure that kids are fed. The plans need to ensure that women and kids are safe.

“It is a whole process that will be done community by community. It cannot be an all-of-Queensland approach.”

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