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Now to the story...

Two to face court over noose claims

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 2 December 2004

Two men have been issued with notices to appear in court on charges of assault over an incident in the southern Queensland border town of Goondiwindi in which an Aboriginal teenager allegedly had a noose tied around his neck.

The two men, aged 44 and 23, are due to appear in court next month over the alleged assault.

A 19-year-old man from the Toomelah community has also been given notice to apppear on break-and-enter offences, stealing and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

He is expected to appear in the Goondiwindi Magistrates Court in two weeks' time.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie earlier said he was concerned that the incident could fuel racial tensions.

He has urged people not to over-react.

"It's like Palm Island - all of this will follow in accordance with the law," Mr Beattie said.

He says the law will be "enforced equally with both black and white".

Goondiwindi Mayor Tom Sullivan says the community should allow police to do their job.

"I say to the community, let's see what comes out of this thing and don't pre-empt things and go on," Mr Sullivan said.

"People have got to be sensible and calm about these things and let it go through the normal course of the investigations by police and see what comes out of it."

Local Indigenous leader Lyle Munroe says Toomelah elders are trying to head off the spread of misinformation.

"Level heads just have to prevail here and it's going to be hard to do that unless the truth comes out," Mr Munroe said.

Mr Sullivan says he does not expect any trouble.

"Things have been quite good, there's been no tension in the town," he said.

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