‘It’s abhorrent’: Govt rejects call for remote policing probe
CALLS to establish an independent committee in the Northern Territory to investigate remote policing on Aboriginal land have been rejected by the Gunner Government.
The member for Nhulunbuy, Yingiya Mark Guyula, tabled a motion in the parliament on Wednesdday morning calling for more oversight of remote policing after the shooting death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker during an attempted arrest in Yuendumu on November 9.
Mr Guyula said the police shooting had brought into focus the type of policing issues Aboriginal people face in remote communities in the NT.
"This inquiry will look at the relationship between police and community members and how this can be improved to allow police to do their jobs more effectively and to allow communities to have confidence they are safe from harm and that community leaders will have a central role in maintaining order and peace," he said.
Police Minister Nicole Manison said the Gunner Government would not be supporting his motion to establish the independent committee and it was voted down by 17-5.
"There are some very important investigations happening right now and I think it's very critical that we let those important bodies of work and Coronials to take place, being absolutely free of any political influence," she said.
"I believe by establishing this committee could have an adverse impact of that very important work at this point, so that is why we won't be supporting the motion.
Opposition leader Gary Higgins said the CLP didn't support the motion either because they thought it there wouldn't be enough time for the committee to achieve what it needed to before the 2020 election.
Meanwhile the Independent Member for Blain Terry Mills, Member for Araluen Robyn Lambley and Member for Stuart Scott McConnell all supported it.
"It's obvious the Chief Minister has viewed this issue purely as a political problem and wants to run away from it," Mr Mills said. "It's abhorrent."
Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) executive member Lisa Bayliss said they rejected the idea of setting up a committee.
"Police officers are under more oversight and face more scrutiny than any other organisation," she said.
"We do not need another select committee sitting in parliament - when our members are telling us they need more resources and support from the police management and the Government."