Palm Island community boycotts Qld premier


Jim McIlroy, Brisbane

The Aboriginal community of Palm Island, north of Townsville, staged a boycott of the visit by Queensland Premier Peter Beattie on February 17, in protest at the "lack of respect" shown by the premier in opening a Police Citizens Youth Centre on the island while the Doomadgee family and the community were still in mourning.

Mulrunji Doomadgee died in police custody in November and an inquest into his death will commence shortly.

On February 16, the Palm Island Community Council passed a resolution saying it did not want a Police Citizens Youth Centre operating on the island. The council called on the premier not to open the $10 million centre until its future could be determined by the state government and the community.

Beattie went ahead with his visit, during which he was heckled by Doomadgee family spokesperson Brad Foster, who said, "He has not shown us any respect at all".

From Green Left Weekly, February 23, 2005.
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