Highest praise for Mornington Island National Award Winner
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has heaped his highest praise on The Mornington Island Restorative Justice Project, one of three “Australian Crime and Violence Prevention” national award winners at Parliament House in Canberra today.
The Project is one of only a handful of alternative dispute resolution projects working specifically with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. It involves a mediation process that recognises and respects kinship and culture while still meeting the requirements of the criminal justice system. The project demonstrates what communities, with assistance from Government, can do to resolve conflicts.
Mr Katter said today that the Project was a credit to the people involved, particularly project head Berry Zondag, who had not been afraid to speak out against adverse Government policies.
“This award for the Gulf comes on top of that for “Domestic Violence Not our Game”, which I know made all of our Gulf and Mid-West people very proud.
“I congratulate everyone on Mornington Island and Dr Berry Zondag who coordinates this project.”
Mr Katter pointed to one of the catalysts for disputes and conflict in the community – the State Government enforced Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs).
“Our winner Berry Zondag has fearlessly put forward the proposition that more crime has been fuelled by the AMP laws than has been removed, it puts a blemish upon our people.
“These laws are blatant racial discrimination. All they are doing is suppressing the symptoms, they will not treat the cause.
“If you’re looking for answers to the alcohol problem, it’s clearly the provision of irrigation and water development rights to our First Australians.
“And overwhelmingly more importantly, the issue of ownership title deeds,” Mr Katter said.
Attached photo is of Mr Katter with Project Co-ordinators in Canberra, including Dr Berry Zondag (photo credit Anne Pleash).