The community is urging the government to address the issue of substance abuse, including chroming, and have started a petition addressed to local politicians.
Foodworks Manager Gary Cowling created the petition after he was allegedly spat at, abused, and even had his jaw broken by youth who sniff paint and glue in a park behind the shopping centre.
Brisbane Aboriginal Reverend Alex Gater has voiced her support for the petition, describing the issue of substance abuse in the community as ongoing.
“There’s been a lot of anger where the youth are saying they’ve been asking for help and that no-one’s prepared to help them,” she said.
“Their voice has been falling on deaf ears and they’re frustrated and they’re angry and they turn to substance abuse and they feel that no-one is prepared to help them.”
Youth worker Sam Ahmat said substance abuse problems plagued youth from many backgrounds in the area’s multicultural community, including those from the Murri population.
“It’s not only children of our community who are engaging in this activity,” he said.
“That particular problem is an epidemic problem here and it’s children of all backgrounds who are engaging in this type of activity.”
Mr Ahmat said he had met with Mr Cowling and Foodworks management regarding some of the issues plaguing the shopping centre on Ewing Road.
He said a drop-in centre would help address some of the issues and provide family support services.
“I’ve made it particular known that the centre would be all embracing, all inclusive of the community,” he said.