Woorabinda Shire Council CEO Derm Stower.
Woorabinda Shire Council CEO Derm Stower. Sharyn Oneill Roksderm

Woorabinda residents vote in favour of alcohol ban lift

WOORABINDA residents want their alcohol back.

They have voted overwhelmingly in favour of grog being re-introduced to the Aboriginal community, with the result of the March 4 poll showing 231 votes for and 37 against.

But 130 of the 398 people on the electoral roll did not vote.

Woorabinda Shire Council CEO Derm Stower said the result of the vote, revealed at yesterday's whole-of-community meeting, did not mean that alcohol would automatically be re-introduced to the township.

"This is just the first step which starts an ongoing process that could take up to 12 months," he said.

"The review committee will now have to ascertain the views of the community, at the same time making them aware of what strategies have to be adopted to satisfy the nominated criteria.

"The minister will make the final determination."

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister Glen Elmes last year announced a review of alcohol restrictions in 19 Aboriginal townships. (An Alcohol Management Plan was implemented in Woorabinda in 2003.)

He said any proposal to change existing plans must include strategies to reduce community violence, manage alcohol abuse and to improve school attendance.

"Any proposal which doesn't address these issues positively and satisfactorily will be rejected," he said.

Mr Stower was quick to point out that an alcohol ban remained in place in Woorabinda.

Bring back the booze

Woorabinda residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of grog being re-introduced, with the result of the March 4 poll showing 231 votes for and 37 against.



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