Natasha Robinson; 10/4/08
Police have not found any evidence to indicate a child sex trade is occurring in the remote Northern Territory mining town of Nhulunbuy. Northern Territory acting Assistant Police Commissioner Colleen Gwynne said yesterday reports that underage girls were being paid in alcohol, cash, marijuana and taxi fares for having sex with white men in Nhulunbuy could not be substantiated by a child abuse taskforce. The police statement comes after Arnhem Land leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu publicly stated last week that a rampant sex trade was occurring in Nhulunbuy, 650km east of Darwin, involving at least 10 girls aged between 13 and 15.]
Cop ‘tried to destroy evidence of bashing’
Natasha Robinson; 10/4/08
An Aboriginal prisoner was allegedly repeatedly kicked in the head by a Northern Territory policeman, who then tried to destroy the video evidence of the bashing. Graham Kurnoth was in handcuffs and lying on his stomach on the floor of a Tennant Creek police cell when Michael James Bourke kicked him three times in the head, the NT Supreme Court heard yesterday. After another police officer pointed out that the attack would have been recorded by the surveillance cameras in the police cells, Acting Sergeant Bourke allegedly rewound the video and set the cameras to record over the evidence. Sergeant Bourke, 34, faces three charges of aggravated assault and one charge of attempting to destroy evidence.
Indigenous mental health boost
Patricia Karvelas; 10/4/08
Indigenous people with mental illnesses and those at risk of suicide will be given more help after the Rudd Government announced it would invest millions in a range of mental health programs. Indigenous Affairs minister Jenny Macklin, who is in Western Australia visiting remote indigenous communities, yesterday announced that the Government will provide $15.4 million to provide intensive assistance to mentally ill remote Indigenous people across Austalia. Around $5.3 million has been allocated to Western Australia and includes establishing and expanding respite services for carers of people with severe mental illness, psychiatric disability, or intellectual disability.
Alcohol ban a winner, locals say
Sarah Smiles; 10/4/08
Ambualnce officers in Fitzroy Crossing used to dread calls they received on pension day, when the remote township in Western Australia was awash with grog. Often they would be called to pick up an unconscious person in the midst of a drunken mob, said Bert Dorgelo, district manager of Fitzroy Valley Health Service. The drunks were often menacing to the officers, misunderstanding their intentions.