Phrases like "close knit", "family community", "child friendly"
are just some of the phrases being used to describe this area. You'd hardly believe that this could be the same place that 4CA shock jock John MacKenzie has routinely called 'the most notorious street in Cairns', and where Member for MacKenzie Gavin King has been demanding Cairns Council install full-time CCTV cameras - the first outside the CBD.
If the community was "close knit" and "family oriented", you wouldn't need continual police patrols and permanently installed CCTV cameras. We're being fed a King sized portion of LNP bullshit.
Indeed, King along with his ministerial comrades have been hiding a government-commissioned report on the "M" suburbs in Cairns that discusses the high crime rate, the youth sexual and domestic abuse rampant in these communities, along with the massive unemployment - in excess of 50%.
The report has been quietly hidden so as to not embarrass the LNP government for their failure to do anything in these areas other than ramp up policing. And King has been the instigator in removal of social services from the "M" suburbs, claiming they are too costly and don't achieve any results. He's not proposed any replacements however, so the community has declined even further under the LNP Newman government. More have been jailed or run back to the Cape, and employment training and intervention has been withdrawn. It's almost like Gavin King's been holding the knife himself.
On the streets around the crime scene yesterday, the question everyone is asking - "how could this happen". The QPS and government ministers know full well how this happened.
Methamphetamines. Shard. Ice.
The area is lousy with it. People with no employment and
little hope turn to drugs to deaden their emotions. Feeling nothing is better than feeling lousy. But the ice epidemic comes with a little discussed secret of its own. Mental illness, paranoia, irrational behaviour, and extreme violence are the hallmarks of this drug. How does a 37 year old woman cope with hopelessness in her life? With her dole payments she can easily afford the Murray Street drug of choice.
Mersane Warria exhibited all these symptoms and more when Police arrived at her door to discover the horror she had inflicted on her family. Neighbours heard the rage from this woman, and saw the irrational acts (which included pitching one daughter's bed into the back garden and putting boxes of possessions in the street for anyone to take). But in a neighbourhood filled with ice-addicted people, the screaming rage and irrationality are just part of the daily streetscape. Youth in the area yesterday were happy to give us the story about their "family oriented" neighbourhood.
Indeed this TI woman has reportedly never held a job, instead using casual sex to keep the babies (and Centrelink payments) coming. Payments that experts have estimated at close to $50,000 per year + free government housing. This must be looked at by the community as a contributing factor. This was not a "low income" family.
TI Elders have spoken on the role of "uncles and aunties" in the community. Is this the kind of guidance that the elders are dishing out?
The QPS and others are now invoking the mantra of "cultural sensitivity" in an attempt to throw a blanket over the whole event. Cultural sensitivity my arse. Many in Manoora are suggesting that Police have deliberately avoided big drug crackdowns in the "M" suburbs as a kind of community anesthetic. "Keep 'em doped up and quiet", said one resident.
Meanwhile, the scammers are well and truly out now, with several "charities" springing up on the internet including at Facebook - a page said to be created by one Howie Thomas, friend of Member for Barron River Michael "Mick" Trout. Offering to be a depository for donations, locals who question the need for donations are quickly blocked and their posts removed. Howie is "The Social Guy" on Facebook, a company that manages the Facebook presence of Aquis. "The Social Guy" is using the same fraudulent tactic on the Murray Street page as that on the Aquis page - buying black market "likes" to make things seem more important than they are. Aquis has 47,000 "likes" and only 106 actual visits!
And Howie Thomas claims "The Social Guy" is a business - and yet there is NO ABN registration for him anywhere! Just what Aussies need - another company not paying any company tax! Even our friends at Loose Change have identified Howie Thomas and scams. Others have noted some other Social Guy scams below in the comments.
With Centrelink known to be involved in planning (and paying) for the funerals, where the money might be going is obviously a cause for concern. Especially if the money is being raised by someone outside the community.
It now seems a legitimate charity associated with the Uniting Church will coordinate any donations related to this tragedy.
More soon. . . .