The Queensland Government says it would consider banning alcohol in all Cape York Aboriginal communities if new alcohol restrictions do not work.
14 Apr 2004 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 22 Aug 2013 - 11:45 AM

At least one of them, the Mapoon commmunity, does not agree with the alcohol restrictions recently imposed on it, in response to high rates of alcohol abuse and violence.

The Mapoon community is being supported by local Queensland Government MP, Jason O'Brien, who says alcohol restrictions should not be imposed against community wishes.

But Queensland's Premier, Peter Beattie, says he's determined to push ahead with alcohol restriction plans, and would even consider a total prohibition if necessary.

The ATSIC Gulf and West Queensland regional council, which deals with Indigenous communities near the Cape York region, says the Queensland Government should listen to the Mapoon Aboriginal Justice Group, which is opposing the restrictions.

The Council's chairman, Steve Hirvonen, says the Justice Group was set up to advise the Government on alcohol management and knows what the community wants.

"My expectation would be that the Government listen to community justice groups because they were introduced for that reason - to have ownership over these programs and provide advice to the government. Because in reality, these people live in the community. The Government doesn't."