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WA closes Indigenous camp

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 14 May 2003


The Western Australian Government says five suspicious deaths in recent years and a catalogue of abuse allegations have prompted its decision to close the Swan Valley Nyoongah camp.

Teenager Susan Taylor was one of five people to die in suspicious circumstances at the Lockridge camp in recent years.

Premier Geoff Gallop told Parliament the abuse and violence against women and children at the Perth community reads like a horror story and is sufficient reason alone for it to move for its closure.

"We've had advice that the risk is unacceptable," he said.

"We can't afford to lose another young person like Susan Taylor.

"We've got to take that sort of action."

But Opposition leader Colin Barnett wants him to go further.

"I am very disappointed that Dr Gallop hasn't proceeded down the path of mandatory reporting for cases of abuse against children," he said.

"Every other state in Australia has done that."

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) has more than $1.5 million worth of assets at the camp.

It will support the closure.


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