In the wake of the recent arson attack on the Mt Isa Police Beat Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter is calling for a closer look into alternate education solutions.
“We need proactive and practical solutions to address small time crime and our youth,” Mr Katter said.
“It is important to acknowledge that it is not just a matter of throwing more money at this issue, it needs smarter use of existing funding and value for money in any programs that are out there.
“More importantly, we need to show leadership in the community to ensure tough conversations are had to address the real issues here,” He said.
“Since the incident there has been a lot of suggestions about how to fix this problem, the Mona Aboriginal Corporation’s diversionary Program is a great example of one of those common sense solutions.”
The Mona Program which has been operating for the past 4 years offers the mentorship of local Indigenous people, who themselves have faced challenging issues growing up in Mount Isa.
“Instances like the one that took place on the weekend aren’t just a tragedy for the community, it is also a tragedy for the young individual who has put themselves at a disadvantage in life.”
“We need local intervention, and we need to provide constructive life skills that can be used in the real world,” Mr Katter said.
Set on a cattle station a heavy focus is placed on the development of healthy survival and industry skills for cattle station work.
This project doesn’t need a fancy shopfront or fleet of vehicles. It just uses existing cattle station infrastructure and importantly gets kids out of town away from a troubled environment
“By removing young adults from their familiar surroundings those in trouble have the opportunity to grow,” Mr Katter said.
“While this is only one part of the solution there are many other ways to give some structure and discipline to the life of these kids that needs leadership from the community.”
As part of his push Mr Katter said he was pleased to hear the Minister for communities commit to local engagement initiatives this week.
Mr Katter has since sort support from Treasurer Curtis Pitt to investigate further options in this area.