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Police issue apology over Goondiwindi assault

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

Queensland police have apologised to property owners in Goondiwindi, saying they were not involved in an alleged attack on an Aboriginal teenager.

Police say they expect to lay charges later today.

It is alleged the 16-year-old had a rope tied around his neck and was dragged along the river bank after he had tried to rob a Goondiwindi farmhouse with three others.

Police say for the moment all remains calm in the southern Queensland border town.

Local Indigenous leader Lyle Munroe says Toomelah elders are now meeting to try 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," he said.

Goondiwindi Mayor Tom Sullivan says he does not think there will be any trouble.

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

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has called for calm.

Mr Beattie says the matter is being investigated and charges will be laid if necessary.

The Premier admits it could further fuel racial tensions sparked by last Friday's Palm Island riot.

"That's why I say to everyone involved here please deal with the facts," he said.

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