Tempers flare as Abbott ambushed during Cherbourg visit
CHERBOURG residents were determined to have their voices heard when former prime minister, Tony Abbott arrived in the indigenous community today.
Former Prime Minister and special envoy for indigenous affairs, Mr Abbott was in Cherbourg to meet with various community organisations.
After leaving the council office where he shared ideas with the Cherbourg mayor and councillors, Mr Abbott was confronted by passionate residents.
Indigenous activist, Alwyn Doolan, appeared angry as he demanded to know why Mr Abbott was in the region.
"I just wanted to know what his affairs were today here in Cherbourg on Wakka Wakka country," Mr Doolan said.
"I'd like to know what message he will be sending back to Nigel Scullion, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
"Instead of just meeting with the high-end people of Cherbourg, what discussions do the community members get to put forward to help and benefit our community?"
One Cherbourg resident, who wished to remain anonymous, wanted answers on where the region's funding was used.
"Cherbourg has received so much funding in the last 12 months and there is nothing to show for it apart from 20 homes and the 'Welcome to Country' sign," they said.
"There is nothing in the community for our children."
Mr Abbott was joined on his visit by member for Wide Bay, Llew O'Brien, and both politicians were caught up in the confrontation.
Mr Abbott assured the residents he would return at a later date to listen to their concerns when there was more time, but residents were not convinced.
"I really don't trust the government," the resident said.
"He said he will come back for a meeting and that he will actually talk to the community and not just the councillors."
Mr Abbott confirmed he would be back to Cherbourg to address the concerns of residents.
"I will come back to Cherbourg," he said.
"We will organise a community meeting and anyone who wants to turn up can turn up and they can raise whatever subjects they want to raise."