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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Aboriginal cemetery desecrated

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Tweed police are investigating the vandalism of an historic cemetery at Fingal Head on Tuesday in which racist graffiti were painted on Aboriginal/Islander gravestones and a nearby wall.

The desecration of the graveyard on Letitia Road involved damage to several headstones and graffiti spray painted around the site.

A police spokesman said they would not comment on the nature of the graffiti, but Echonetdaily sources say it included the painting of Nazi swastikas, ‘KKK’ and ‘white power’ slogans.

The cemetery was a burial site for local Aboriginal people and other residents from 1864-1964.

Tweed Shire Council rangers cleaned up the graffiti early yesterday.

Aboriginal leaders have said locals are respectful of the site and this act was ‘out of character’.

Resident Kevin Slabb told media his uncle’s gravestone was one of those damaged in the attack.

Mr Slabb said he doubted a longterm resident was responsible.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the incident is urged to contact Kingscliff Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. 

State MLC Walt Secord condemned the attack, repeating his call last August for the O’Farrell Government to introduce a specific offence of ‘racist graffiti’.

Mr Secord, the Labor duty MLC for the Tweed, said NSW should become the first Australia state to have a specific offence for racist graffiti with suitably tough penalties.

‘Daubing a racist slogan on a temple, church, synagogue, mosque or an Aboriginal sacred site is not expression, it is an outright offence, and has no place in this nation,’ he said.

‘It is simply disgusting. NSW judges should have the power to deem racist graffiti as an aggravated offence carrying tougher penalties for offenders.’

 

 


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