Melbourne, Dec 1 : In a rather bold move, an Australian community has banned public servants from entering its island (Palm Island) till the time it's convinced the state government is paying heed to its concerns.
According to Palm Island mayor Alf Lacey, his council had voted that it'd only allow essential workers such as nurses and police onto the island, off Townsville. He said that the ban would be in force until further notice.
The ban was apparently put in place after the Queensland Government had ignored the island's basic needs.
Lacey claimed that Premier Anna Bligh did not respond to the council's request for a meeting.
"We'll allow public servants ... who have to deliver essential services to the town as part of the hospital and policing and things," The Australian quoted Lacey as saying.
He added: "But if people are coming into the town just because they've got pet projects that they need to deliver on well then we are saying you need to put those on hold until we sit back down at the table with government in rearranging our working relationship."
On the other hand, Deputy Premier Paul Lucas said the move was ridiculous.
"There is one group of people in this state and they are Queenslanders. We will not wear or cop an apartheid system where you say you don't go to Palm Island to provide government services if you are white that is not on," said Lucas.
He said that the community was "dysfunctional" and needed to work hand-in-hand with the Government to provide services.
"Of all places in Queensland, Palm Island is one that cries out for support, not this wacky sort of thing. They (public servants) are going there to help the community ... that is very dysfunctional," said Lucas.
Palm Island made international headlines when residents burned down government facilities after the death in custody of local man Cameron Doomadgee.