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Indigenous protesters complain of camp shooting

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 18 February 2004


Indigenous protesters at a Lake Cowal in southern NSW are complaining they have been under attack in the past few months.

Aboriginal elder Neville Williams says shots were fired into their camp on Christmas morning, then a vehicle shone a search light onto their camp site.

Mr Williams, who is fighting miner Barrick Gold in court, says on another occasion a Ku Klux Klan uniform was left at the camp.

His supporters are also upset at police and firefighters who recently doused their so-called "sacred flame" twice during a total fire ban.

Mr Williams says he wants police to do more to investigate the problems.

"And because I wanted a senior officer to come out and investigate the shooting and the police officer said at that time he wasn't too sure if a senior officer would come out and investigate. Well, I said 'might I add that there was a senior officer, one of the most senior officers from Griffith that came out a couple of months before that and extinguished our sacred fire'," he said.

Griffith police reject Mr Williams' claims of inaction, saying they have done extensive investigations into the shooting incident.

They say they have had several meetings with Mr Williams, but they have not found any suspects, despite their efforts to identify the gun and the vehicle involved.

Police say they cannot do anything more until new evidence comes to light.


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