Former Rockhampton boxer Alfiy Reid teaches Shirmona Barlow how to throw a punch, as he hits out at government spending on indigenous issues.
Former Rockhampton boxer Alfiy Reid teaches Shirmona Barlow how to throw a punch, as he hits out at government spending on indigenous issues. Allan Reinikka Rokareid

Alfiy's two-fisted attack

BOXING is in Rockhampton man Alfiy Reid's blood and he didn't hold back yesterday as he threw some punches at government Aboriginal support departments.

Mr Reid, who has lived in Central Queensland his whole life, said while there were plenty of taxpayer dollars being spent on supporting aboriginal communities, the money wasn't necessarily filtering to the indigenous people, particularly the youth, in need.

He was speaking out after reading about a Productivity Commission report conducted last year, which found the $5.1 billion spent in 2008-09 on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs, had achieved little.

"There's all this money but the kids can't access it," he said yesterday.

"Do the homeless people on the riverbank look rich? None of it gets to the actual roots of the problem."

Mr Reid says he has been offered numerous coaching jobs to train at indigenous boxing clubs in Mt Morgan, Yeppoon and Rockhampton, but has turned them all down after being told he would be associated with the Australian Government's Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.

"I don't want my name attached to the government - with them nothing progresses," he said.

But Mr Reid, who has a blue card, will not give up on the young indigenous people of Rockhampton.

He called for Rockhampton's mining companies to sponsor a private boxing club for indigenous youth.

"A lot of kids here want to box," he said.

"They've got a lot of anger so why not harness that aggression in a sport."

Mr Reid said bags and a place to train, free from government association, would get indigenous youth off the streets and build their self-esteem.

"I promise that if the mining companies helped out I would have an Olympic quality boxer here in Rocky by the next Olympics. That's how confident I am in the talent we have here."

The Morning Bulletin was unsuccessful yesterday in contacting Margaret Hornagold, Darumbal Community Youth Service's chief executive officer.



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