(QldGovSpin) Premier calls for Palm Island Council to show leadership

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 29/11/2004 - 23:45

Premier Peter Beattie is calling on the indigenous leaders of Palm Island, especially the Chair of the Council and the councillors, to show strong leadership in the aftermath of Friday's riot.

Ken's Comment: Perhaps this is a result of so many others dying in watchouses.... and it began for me back when my best friend from state school "committed suicide" in the sixties.

Police & Corrective Services, Judy Spence
police@cabinet.qld.gov.au

27/11/04

"It is absolutely imperative that the council and elders to provide strong leadership and take control of the situation," said Mr Beattie at a media conference today (Saturday).

"If the full story had been properly and more accurately explained to the people of Palm Island in the first place, there may well have been a different response. There was a failure of leadership.

"Part of that full story is that there will be a full and independent inquiry into the death of Cameron Doomadgee.

"The Council and its chairman need to provide more leadership to sort out these issues.

"We can't achieve the results they want unless they are prepared to lead themselves."

Police Minister Judy Spence said the situation was improving, with 80 police officers still on the island.

Normally, there are between four and six police on the island but this had risen to 20 after the death of Cameron Doomadgee while in police custody.

"Nine people are in custody and being held in Townsville where they will appear in the magistrates' court on Monday," said Ms Spence.

"Police are very disappointed by what has happened because they are volunteers and have put in a lot of hard work with the community, starting a surf life-saving club and working for the last 12 months on a new community centre.

"The police are committed to continuing to work with the people of Palm Island because there are a lot of good people there."

Mr Beattie started the media conference by extending condolences to the family and friends of Mr Doomadgee but emphasised that there was no excuse for a riot.

"I assure his family and friends and everyone else that there will be a full, independent inquiry into his death," said Mr Beattie.

"The Crime and Misconduct Commission is fearlessly independent as it has demonstrated when criticising my Government and investigators were already on the island when the riot started.

"When it comes to riotous behaviour, it doesn't matter whether people are black or white, there is one law for everyone and anyone who has broken the law will face the full force of the law."

Contact: Steve Bishop 07 3224 4500

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