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Aboriginal women working to keep alcohol restrictions amid high suicide rates

Date posted: 21 October 2016

Aboriginal women in Fitzroy Crossing are fighting hard to maintain the West Australian (WA) town's tough alcohol restrictions amid high suicide rates in their community. Following a series of Aboriginal suicides in the region in 2007, the sale of all takeaway alcohol, excluding light-strength beers, was banned in Fitzroy Crossing.Two years later, similar restrictions were introduced in Halls Creek.

Now, some local retailers have floated the idea of reintroducing mid-strength beer for takeaway sale. Bunuba woman, June Oscar, has not changed her position and was one of the first to campaign for the ban in 2007.

'We've been able to present our objection to that and we're yet to hear the outcomes, and we won't know that for some time yet,' she said. 'The Women's Resource Centre and the women's leadership in Halls Creek have a view around the need to address alcohol, and alcohol being seen as a contributing element to much of the trauma and the complexity of the issues that we're dealing with in the Kimberley,' said Ms Oscar.

Ms Oscar met the Federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley, over Government plans to launch a suicide prevention trial in the region, highlighting the value of Aboriginal people being active and engaged in the workforce, in order to overcome social issues. Ms Oscar also voiced concerns about women's access to midwives in their pregnancies and childhood education. For Ms Oscar, these issues are all linked.

Source: ABC News


Last updated: 21 October 2016
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