It’s been a busy year for the pollies, Senator Jan McLucas and Billy Gordon who is the endorsed QLD Labor candidate for the electorate of Cook. So its great they could take time out to come visit QRAM and the Black Star Network, and keep the Cape York communities informed of social and economic developments in the region.
On the down side is the overnment’s cutting of $43 million from the Aboriginal legal assistance program, following the tabling of the Social Justice and Native Title report. It brings to notice statistics showing that since 1993, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have gone from being 17 times more likely to be in detention, to 25 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Indigenous children. And that Indigenous adults have increased from 14 times more likely to be in prison, to more than 18 times more likely over the same time period.
Senator McLucas is calling on North Queensland communities and organisations to help develop the program for the parliamentary Northern Australia committee’s schedule next year.
“The Northern Australia Committee Secretariat is currently developing a program of hearings and inspections for the committee next year,”
Senator McLucas said.
“I want to ensure the North, from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Torres Strait, is strongly represented and that the Committee has a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing community’s right across the North.”
“We have very diverse communities with very different needs and aspirations. I want to make sure we do our very best with the time the committee has to hear from organisations working on the ground here in the North.”
The first meeting of the Northern Australia committee took place in Canberra last week.
People can submit their suggestions to Senator McLucas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 1300 301 959 by Thursday 16 January 2014.
Billy Gordon, as the endorsed candidate for the state seat of Cook has a hit the ground running and building up to the next Queensland elections and visiting as many businesses and community organisations in the cook electorate.