Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Woorabinda on the Edge of Riots: Mayor Woorabinda Meeting

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Woorabinda on the Edge of Riots: Mayor Woorabinda Meeting

Article excerpt

Byline: Michelle Gately michelle.gately@capnews.com.au

TENSIONS between Woorabinda residents and police are so fraught, mayor Shane Wilkie believes things could have erupted into riots if it wasn't for a community meeting held yesterday.

Cr Wilkie (pictured) told The Morning Bulletin about 300 people gathered to raise concerns about the relationship between police and the community after an incident on Saturday night.

The claims come after incidents in the indigenous community of Aurukun in far north Queensland and during National Reconciliation Week.

He said the community anger stemmed from an incident on Saturday night which "got out of control" after a driver was pulled over.

"It just broke out from there," Cr Wilkie said.

"The police felt threatened so they called on other police to come to the scene because there were people walking past."

It's understood three people were charged following the incident.

"It's minor stuff in our eyes, but they weren't obeying police directions," Cr Wilkie said.

However, it's understood the community was angered by the alleged treatment of one of the people arrested.

The pregnant woman told The Morning Bulletin her arm was twisted behind her back as she was arrested.

The woman said as she was taken into custody, she told officers she would be making an official complaint and they allegedly responded with a racial slur.

Cr Wilkie said the community gathered outside the police station yesterday "wanting answers" for this treatment, which they say is part of a wider problem.

He said concerns were also raised about "police kicking doors down" in regards to alcohol-related incidents and "strip searching people in the streets".

"We will ask those community people to put those letters in to go through the right complaints process," Cr Wilkie said. …

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