Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Tackling alcohol and substance misuse in Queensland

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today visited Mornington Island to announce the Australian Government will deliver $5 million to help tackle alcohol and drug misuse in Doomadgee and Mornington Island.

Mission Australia has been selected to work with the Aboriginal community and local organisations including Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation and Junkuri Laka Wellesley Islands Aboriginal Law to help develop and implement an alcohol and drug misuse management plan and to coordinate local youth strategies for young people at risk.

The management plan will deliver locally-driven activities that will focus on the individual needs of the communities of Doomadgee and Mornington Island.

Activities undertaken under the plan could include youth diversionary activities, programs to link people with support services and assistance to pregnant and new mothers.

Ms Macklin said the Australian Government would also invest $300,000 over the next year for the development of local youth strategies aimed at young people aged 13 to 25 years in Doomadgee and Mornington Island.

On Mornington Island, Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation and Mission Australia will host an inaugural local Youth Summit next month to bring the young people of the community together to contribute their ideas to the Mornington Island Youth Strategy.

“We know how important it is to support young Indigenous people, and provide activities that offer alternative healthy and safe behaviour choices to substance abuse and crime,” Ms Macklin said.

“Alcohol and drug misuse is devastating the lives of too many Indigenous people and their families in Queensland.

“We want to work with the community to tackle the harm it causes and provide young Aboriginal people with activities to keep them away from drugs and alcohol.

“These strategies not only give local youth a positive outlet but have the potential to re-engage youth with their community, the local economy and culture.”

The $5 million Australian Government funding is part of the $20 million Breaking the Cycle of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Indigenous Communities funding provided to Indigenous communities across Australia over three years for community led solutions to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drug misuse.