Queensland state MP Robbie Katter will raise “concerns” over the surprise arrest of the Mayor of Doomadgee with the QLD deputy premier and the Mt Isa police superintendent, NITV News can reveal.
The Queensland Department of Justice confirmed Doomadgee mayor Edric Walden and fellow councillor Tony ‘Kevin’ Chong were arrested and charged with offences relating to misconduct and “uttering a forged document”.
They have been bailed to appear before Doomadgee Magistrates Court on September 14. Doomadgee is a remote community in north-west Queensland.
Cr Chong was also charged with a “serious assault” that allegedly occurred on August 15, police and Justice Department spokespeople confirmed.
NITV News understands the men were held in police lock-up for a number of hours on Monday afternoon. Police confirmed the men were arrested and detained but would not confirm how long the men were held.
“I’m certainly going to be keeping a close eye on this, and I’ll be talking to our police superintendent out there in Mt Isa and just making sure this is handled properly,” MP Robbie Katter told NITV News on the phone from Brisbane.
Mr Katter said he would speak with deputy premier Jackie Trad in the “next few days” to “keep her abreast of the problem”.
Mr Katter met with prominent Indigenous leader and traditional landowner Alec Doomadgee on Monday to discuss the arrests.
Mr Doomadgee has declared “tribal lore” on the Doomadgee police in a public Facebook post. He told NITV this meant he would “stand up and fight” for the rights of the two men.
“I feel like [Mr Katter is] in my team, and we’re going to make some change,” he said.
Mr Katter is currently in Brisbane on parliamentary duties but will return to his electorate on Monday next week. He said he plans to meet with the police superintendent in Mt Isa to discuss the arrests.
For Alec Doomadgee, the arrest adds to a general mistrust of the police in Doomadgee. Asked how he would describe the relationship between police and the local community, he said it was “volatile, violent and non-existent”.
“The cops at the moment are running around gung ho, holding people up,” he said.
NITV News has left a message on the mayor’s mobile phone but is yet to make contact.