Government can’t fix Aurukun

The ongoing problems in Aurukun clearly demonstrate the inability of government to fix complex social issues and highlights the need for less government not more.

Noel Pearson said two events define Aurukun today, the removal of the Presbyterian Church as mission administrators in 1978 – replaced by a local government. The second was when the new local government introduced alcohol in the alcohol-free mission.

My uncle was part of the Presbyterian mission administration when our family visited in 1971. Aurukun was a healthy functioning disciplined community, with good education outcomes and a diverse range of employment opportunities.

Aurukun elders are now calling for the return of the tough love of the former Presbyterian mission where out-of-control youths were banished to isolated outstations on Cape York until they reformed. The situation is now so bad that 90 year old elder Silus Wolmby is leaving town with some of his clansmen and grandchildren.

It is impossible to unscramble the egg created by government in 1978, but security needs to be restored to the community.

Family First would support the introduction of a curfew along with a strong law and order response to violence and the sly-grogger’s, so residents can at least go about their lives in safety.

Then all options need to be laid on the table, free from political agendas so a sensible long term strategy can be implemented for the Aurukun community.

Rod McGarvie, Senate Candidate Family First