A video showing a Darwin tour operator employee hosing a pathway next to an Aboriginal man sitting on the street has emerged online.
The video was taken by a passer by who sent the clip to website Welcome to Country, the site reported.
“The old man was just sitting there peacefully and this whitefulla is spraying him with water”, The woman who took the video told Welcome to Country.
In the video, which lasts for about 30 seconds, a man in a blue uniform can be seen holding a pressure hose which he then repeatedly sprays towards an Aboriginal man sitting several metres away near an adjoining shop.
The Aboriginal man eventually gets up and starts to move on.
The sign displayed outside the shop reads Darwin Fishing Office.
A NITV reporter was asked to leave the shop and ushered outside when attempting to ask staff about the incident.
Staff denied that the man was being deliberately hosed.
“Go and talk to the police we were hosing really far away from him”, a man in the store told NITV before closing the shop door.
Today the shop owner told Darwin Station Mix 104.9 that the video did not show the whole story.
“There was a disturbance outside the shop there in Mitchell St,” he said.
“During that time there was food stuff which had been thrown around the front of the store, which had to be cleaned up and removed so that the shop could still trade and the 30 second or so byte of video … showed the end portion of that.”
Another shop owner nearby who witnessed the incident said it was not clear whether the hosing was deliberate.
"He wasn't hosing him directly, he was asking him to move on and said he was hosing, I think he was trying to move him on" the shop owner told NITV News.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner posted on his Facebook page after seeing the video.
The CEO of the Darwin based Larrakia Development Corporation said the behaviour in the video was not acceptable.
"Black, white, or brindle, the disrespect shown to a man of that age is unacceptable. He is welcome here. This behavior is not," CEO Nigel Browne told Sky News.
There was widespread condemnation on Facebook after the video was published.
"This is disgraceful!! I have always planned to go for a trip up to Darwin and I would much rather sit with this beautiful Aboriginal elder and ask him for stories about the land and where are the best places to visit and stay, share a cold drink with him maybe have a meal with him and ask him to be our tour guide but certainly not spray him with a f*****g hose!!, wrote Jody M Shaw on the Facebook page of Welcome to Country.
Another commenter, Marion Pepping-nee Payne Wow said: "I can't believe that something this shameful happened in Australia in 2017. I feel so horrified and ashamed to be an Australian. 😢"