Councils step up to assist displaced Aurukun residents

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President Mark Jamieson has thanked Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other councils in Far North Queensland for their continuing commitment to assisting Aurukun residents adversely affected by recent clan tensions in the community.

“Neighbouring councils like Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw and Cook Shire Council represent some of the most disadvantaged communities in the state, yet without hesitation they have opened their doors to their fellow Queenslanders who have been displaced from their own community due to safety risks arising out of matters outside of their control," Mayor Jamieson said.

“They continue to support families needing help, despite the significant pressures it is placing on their own very limited and finite supply of housing, food and other essential living requisites.

“These are men, women and children who in many cases left behind all their material possessions. Most wish to return while others may well wish to make a fresh start elsewhere.

“I also want to give special mention to Aurukun Mayor Dereck Walpo and his councillors.

“Not only have they, as individuals, had to deal with personal trauma arising out of the tensions within the community but they have also had to respond as a council to the extraordinary civic and social circumstances within the community.

“On behalf of all councils across Queensland, I congratulate Mayor Walpo and his council on their outstanding efforts to restore order to their community and remind Mayor Walpo that local government in Queensland is a family. You are a part of that family and we all stand ready to assist you in any way we can.”

The LGAQ President said councils also acknowledged the considerable investment by the Palaszczuk Government in responding to the Aurukun unrest.