Mutitjulu: Police attacked

27 December: Northern Territory Police were attacked with rocks and iron bars during a riot at a remote Aboriginal community in central Australia on Boxing Day.

Six people have been arrested and police say they expect more will be charged after fighting broke out at Mutitjulu, near Uluru, about 360 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs.

Southern Watch Commander Siri Tennosaar says a group of more than 40 people threw rocks, bottles and iron bars at local police when they were called to deal with the incident. The windscreen of a police vehicle was smashed with a rock and further damaged when it was struck with an iron bar.

She says police were forced to withdraw at first and call for help.

“A clinic nurse in the community was assaulted as she tried to assist,” she said.

“It does appear that alcohol was a contributing factor,” she said.

“There was a break-in at a licensed premises in Yulara during the night and the proceeds of that unlawful entry have actually come into the Mutitjulu community.

“That is how large groups of persons have become intoxicated and it certainly seems to have sparked the incident.”

Police say fighting at the community of about 300 people continued throughout the day and they had to call for reinforcements from Yulara, Imanpa and Kulgera.

Those arrested so far include four women and two men.

The strengthened police contingent will remain at the community today.

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