April 30, 2021
After two more attempted suicides in two days at Cherbourg, Wakka Wakka traditional owner Cindy Button is demanding that things change.
She has organised a community forum to be held at 3:30pm on Tuesday (May 4) in front of Cherbourg Town Hall to discuss the changes she wants the Cherbourg community to implement.
Ms Button said she was “sick and tired” of people just talking about issues.
“Let us run it our way,” she said.
“We want it to be community controlled.”
She told southburnett.com.au there was “an epidemic of ice” in the community which police seemed powerless to prevent.
“They know who’s selling it but by the time they get there, it has gone,” she said.
Ms Button also pointed to children roaming the streets at night, illegal alcohol and loud parties; child sexual abuse, and children sniffing paint and petrol.
She has called for a 10:00pm curfew in the community, more Indigenous foster carers and a return of Community Police.
She also wants the former Wunjuada Rehabilitation Centre (now used as a women’s shelter) re-opened.
And Council by-laws used to eject people from Cherbourg who are causing trouble, something which Ms Button says happens at Woorabinda.
“I want some serious action to be done. We need the rehab back here because of the ice problem,” Ms Button said.
“Lock away the child abusers. They are stealing our babies’ childhoods away.”
In a bid to stop fighting on the streets, Ms Button would like a boxing ring set up where people can solve their disputes in a more controlled way, under the watch of traditional owners.
And she would like more opportunities for children in Cherbourg other than just football, including basketball, netball and learning musical instruments such as the guitar or piano.
Ms Button said she was not afraid to be accused of painting her community in a bad light.
“I am so scared about what’s going to happen to our next generation,” she said.
“I want to save my community.”
Ms Button said Mayor Elvie Sandow had said “yes” straight away when she was approached in regards to holding the community forum.
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If you or someone you know needs help, call:
- Lifeline on 13-11-14
- Kids Helpline on 1800-551-800
- MensLine Australia on 1300-789-978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300-659-467
- Beyond Blue on 1300-224-636