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Rock throwers attack Palm Is police

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 16 March 2005

Rock throwers targeted police on Palm Island in north Queensland last night after a heated community meeting.

Yesterday, tensions flared on the island when the members of a local justice group called on the chairwoman of the Palm Island Council, Erykah Kyle, to be removed.

Ms Kyle says she is confident she has the support of the north Queensland community, despite the calls for her dismissal.

The Community Justice Group has accused the council of failing to provide basic services and of keeping the community in the dark.

Ms Kyle walked away from the proceedings.

"We are not going to get attracted by this arguing," she said.

The justice group's Dulcie Isaro says questions are still unanswered.

"If you walk away from here now you've got no backbones and you shouldn't be a leader at all, you lack leadership Erykah," she said.

Conditions on the island have been unstable since the riot over last year's death in custody. New inquest proceedings into the death will start in Brisbane in a fortnight.

Early this morning, police bore the brunt of the community's anger.

A police car windscreen was smashed when rocks were thrown at it while police patrolled the streets.

Rocks were also thrown at the temporary police compound.

No-one was injured and police could not find those responsible.

Premier Peter Beattie is calling on the local community to act.

"I want the community to work with police," he said.

"I don't want another riot on the island."

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