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Townsville labelled racist city

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 26 August 2004


The National Indigenous Human Rights Congress has declared Townsville, in north Queensland, a racist city.

However, the Mayor of Townsville has dismissed the accusations.

Congress director Errol Wyles says local authorities are condoning racial hatred by turning a blind eye to social problems.

He says he is aware of three racially-motivated hit-and-run attacks on young Indigenous people in the past year.

He says the police, council and justice system are refusing to act.

"I keep hearing of incidences of kids that are getting bashed by a mob of angry Caucasian kids that just want to belt them up and it's wrong," he said.

"The National Indigenous Human Rights Congress believes in equality to everybody but the sad fact of the situation is that we are not getting equality."

The congress will hold a protest meeting in Townsville next month.

"Aboriginal families and Indigenous families are sick and tired of being swept under the carpet," Mr Wyles said.

"It's time now for some sort of action to happen and I believe that this town is a racist town because of the elements that prevail in it they let things keep happening."

But Mayor Tony Mooney says the claims are outlandish and untrue.

"I thought it was April Fool's Day when I read those comments," he said.

"They're just laughable and we are not a racist city."


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