26 February, 2015. 15:30
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
One of Queensland’s most tight-knit construction communities have this week announced plans to go on strike over the government’s controversial new measures to monitor the transportation and personal consumption of the psychoactive southern Pacific plant, Kava.
The consumption of kava is a cultural tradition for a vast number of Polynesian and Micronesian communities based in the Pacific Islands as well as New Zealand, Hawaii and Australia.
The roots of the plant are used to produce a drink with sedative and anaesthetic properties. The relaxing effects of kava are non-stimulated and sedating. It is primarily consumed to relax without the intoxicating effects of other drugs.
However, gradual pressure has been put on Australian-Polynesian communities by members of both state and federal governments who do not understand the concept of socially-responsible consumption.
The new measures proposed by authorities to tackle the possession, sale and transportation of kava – has seen this same community reach boiling point.
The entire scaffolding industry of Queensland’s south-east corner, which is predominantly made up of deeply-rooted Pacific Islander-Australians, have this week put the government on notice.
Their demands are simple. The authorities have received an ultimatum:
“If restrictions continue to be placed on the consumption and or transportation of kava… Then construction projects in Logan, the Gold Coast and Brisbane will be halted indefinitely.”
Lote Rokocoko, a spokesperson for the newly-organised KIWI SCAFFERS AGAINST KAVA BANS (KSAKB) has spoken to the Betoota Advocate about the first Australian workers strike to be organised without any help from the unions.
“The government is happy for us to spend every minute of every day on the top of half-built skyscrapers, but they aren’t happy with how we spend our down-time. What the fuck do they know about kava?!”
“They would prefer us to go to the pub and drink a skinful of piss until we start bashing the fuck out of each other like every other blue-collar Aussie. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t interest us,”
“Kava is the Polynesian communities’ answer to tea or coffee. It is an integral part of our community – they’re just intimidated by the fact that they can’t tax it,”
The strike is currently well underway, with both small and large construction companies desperately trying to sub-contract. Most have seen little success in their attempts to replace the well-engrained Polynesian-Australian scaffolders.
A spokesperson from Queensland-based construction conglomerate, Hutchinson builders, has also spoken up.
“Jeez, I wish one of those pin-striped suits up there in Parliament would hurry up and give these blokes what they want,”
“We can’t replace them – and we can’t work without them. It’s bad for business. Leave that kava shit alone so we can get back to work – it’s not like they come to work drunk on the shit”
However, with lawmakers showing no signs of bowing to the pressure of a suspended infrastructure, it looks like the tools will stay down until both sides can come to an agreement.
The Betoota Advocate have also received unconfirmed reports of similar pro-kava activity in several other Pacific-Islander industries including: nightclub security, NRL football and the Mormon Church.