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MPs clash at Redfern inquiry

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


There have been repeated clashes between MPs at an inquiry into the Sydney suburbs of Redfern and Waterloo which was set up after a riot in the area three months ago.

Government bureaucrats, an Aboriginal leader, and senior police have testified on the first hearing day.

The director-general of the Premier's department, Dr Col Gellatly was the first witness to face the inquiry.

"There is no quick fix to the problems faced by the Redfern and Waterloo communities," Dr Gellatly said.

"The problems are entrenched, complex and multi-faceted."

The New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Madden rejected suggestions Redfern police are not experienced, although more than one third of them are probationary constables.

"I believe that a probationary officer who serves at Redfern will be a very experienced officer in a very short period of time," he said.

The hearing room was closed twice after heated exchanges between the Committee chair, Labor's Jan Burnswoods and the Liberal's Greg Peace.


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