Mayor boycotted funeral for brother over COVID concern

THE woman at the centre of a large and widely condemned funeral for a well-known indigenous elder refused to attend the event amid COVID-19 concerns.

The funeral for Willy Hudson was held at Cullen Point, 80kms north of Weipa at the weekend and attended by 250 people.

It's claimed some mourners travelled from Brisbane to attend.

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said Mapoon Mayor Aileen Addo wanted to postpone the send-off until travel restrictions and limits on crowd numbers had eased.

 

"(But a family member of Mr Hudson) was the one who pushed it through. There was up to 300 people there," he said.

Police confirmed on Thursday a "significant quantity" of illicit alcohol was seized from some mourners attempting to smuggle contraband into the dry community.

 

Court attendance notices were issued to seven people for illegal alcohol possession and a 19-year-old woman was charged for supplying drugs.

 

Weipa Police have seized a 'significant' quantity of illicit alcohol at a Cape York funeral at the weekend. Picture: POLICE MEDIA
Weipa Police have seized a 'significant' quantity of illicit alcohol at a Cape York funeral at the weekend. Picture: POLICE MEDIA

 

Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Aileen Addo.
Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Aileen Addo.

However no action was taken in regard to possible breaches of COVID-19 laws.

"(Police) confiscated a sh*t load of grog and ganja but they still let people go through. (Some mourners) broke every rule and stayed there overnight as well," Mr Entsch said.

Cook MP Cynthia Lui was aware of the funeral but declined to respond to direct questions asking whether the funeral went ahead with state approval.

"I can just say that there was a gathering, a large crowd, but for the sensitivity of the issue, I am not going to make any comments around that," she said.

 

Police roadblock set up at Mt Carbine with travel into Cape York restricted to
Police roadblock set up at Mt Carbine with travel into Cape York restricted to "essential" matters. Picture: Supplied

 

"We have had QPS involved and they monitored the situation throughout the course of the service to ensure the community was safe."

Queensland Health and the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships have been contacted regarding the nature of the funeral's legality but both departments would not comment directly on the gathering.

Cr Addo declined to comment when contacted by the Cairns Post.

Originally published as Mayor boycotted funeral for brother over COVID concern



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