Far North has say on Queensland future
MORE than 350 Far Northerners used yesterday's Community Cabinet meeting to bend the ears of the state's lawmakers on a range of issues.
But the meeting did not start well for Premier Campbell Newman when his introductory speech was drowned out by cries of "No more Newman" and "Shame on you" by angry protesters outside.
Metal roller doors at Parramatta State School’s hall had to be shut before he could continue his speech.
Members of the community who had registered for the forum beforehand were able to meet relevant ministers.
Indigenous advocate Joann Schmider attended the forum to discuss the future of Innisfail’s Mamu canopy walkway.
"We’re here so that the traditional owners and Innisfail community are part of the way forward for prosperity," she said.
"It can be the hub for local employment and business development."
Stanley Freeman’s family travelled from Ravenshoe for the forum to seek answers about recent damage to a sacred cultural site at Mt Garnet.
Spokeswoman for the Cairns branch of the Deaths in Custody Watch Group, Jeannie Little, met Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie to discuss prevention methods for addressing mental health and substance abuse problems.
Ms Little welcomed the opportunity to meet Queensland’s MPs.
"I think it’s worthwhile for grassroots people to be able to have their say," she said.
"It’s good to have protesters as well because they also have a right to be heard."
Mr Newman said the Community Cabinet meetings allowed people to have a say in shaping the state.
"Cairns is a cornerstone of Queensland’s economic recovery and the local community is obviously keen to play its part by bringing ideas directly to the Government," he said.
Cairns was the third regional centre to host a Community Cabinet meeting under the Newman Government.
All 19 ministers will attend a Cabinet meeting at Cairns Regional Council’s chambers this morning.
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Loud and clear message: Nurse Fae Morgan shouts through the fence during yesterday's Community Cabinet in Cairns.