Community to have its say

Cr Ken Bone wants the alcohol management plan lifted in Cherbourg.
Cr Ken Bone wants the alcohol management plan lifted in Cherbourg. Louise Cheer

THE Alcohol Management Plan in Cherbourg could be a thing of the past.

The Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council will meet later this month to discuss its review.

In the mid-1990s the alcohol management plan was introduced in Cherbourg to curb alcohol-related violence.

The maximum amount of alcohol a person can carry into Cherbourg is 11.25 litres of light or mid-strength beer, and wine and spirits are not permitted.

Currently 19 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities are under the management plan and late last year the State Government announced a review of these.

Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Ken Bone said the community would be consulted about its future.

"We'll be putting feelers out in the community to see how people feel about the plan to see if it should be lifted," he said.

"Personally, I and the council will go with whatever the majority of the community decides, so ultimately it is up to them."

During these meetings the council will also discuss the strategies that would be put in place if the plan was lifted.

"In the next couple of months we'll be putting questions out there to see what people would like to see," Cr Bone said.

"It's not going to happen overnight and it'll take a bit of time because we have to consult with the community and local community groups like the hospital and the police."

Cr Bone, who was mayor at the time the AMP was put in place, said it was a "racist policy".

"My personal thoughts on why it was put in in the first place was the government at the time did it because they could," he said.

"They thought the Aboriginals were a minority and they didn't give a stuff about us. They wanted to control us.

"There are places throughout the South Burnett that don't have a great record of alcohol-related violence.

"It happens everywhere, not just in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities."

South Burnett

Topics:  alcohol management plan cherbourg

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