The West Australian premier, Geoff Gallop, says the government will close an Aboriginal community in Perth, fearing sexual and physical abuse of women and children continues.
15 May 2003 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2013 - 9:01 AM

Mr Gallop has told parliament the Swan Valley Nyungah camp in Perth's north-east suburban Lockridge will be closed.

The community has been under a state-government protection order, issued after last year's inquiry into sexual abuse in the Aboriginal population.

The protection order was supposed to give government health workers guaranteed access to the site, but Mr Gallop says the order has not worked.

"The abuse and violence perpetrated against women and children at that community reads like a horror story. Allegations over the past few years include ongoing sexual abuse of children, including violent sexual assaults of young women, children and infants, the bashing of a young woman held at knifepoint, and substantial and ongoing physical abuse of women and children by a number of men who reside at, or who visit, the community. There is also the provision of alcohol and intoxicants such as paint and glue to children."

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) has officially supported closing the community.

ATSIC's West Australian manager, Mick Gooda, says the health and safety of the women and children at the camp has priority over cultural issues.

"We hope that this will not be seen as a racist move by this government. ATSIC, again, through our elected arm, supports the move. We take the view that it would be racist if they didn't take any action here, because our people are entitled to the protection of government, as is everyone else in this state."