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Increased Police and Security Presence at NAIDOC Week in Adelaide

Written by: Ned K. on 7 July 2023


(Photo source: #VickWelly)

This week is NAIDOC week and in Adelaide it has taken a back seat in the mass media outlets. 

The main local story on radio, TV and daily paper has been about safety for people walking on North Terrace near SA Parliament House, Adelaide Railway Station and the Casino and at the city's main beach retail and hospitality strip at Glenelg.  

Several Members of Parliament and their staffers and city office workers reported being harassed and/or assaulted by un-named people as they walk to and from Parliament House. In response to this, the Malinauskas Government increased the number of "on the beat" police in the areas. There has also been a noticeable increase in the number of contract security guards along North Terrace. 

The number of homeless people including people with mental illnesses coming into the city has increased. Some media reported that First Nations people made up a significant proportion of the people accused of harassing or assaulting people in the North Terrace "hot spot". 

The Police Minister, Joe Szakacs, was asked about First Nations people being the culprits. He is reported to have replied that there was an increase in the number of First Nations people in Adelaide this week, but they came from NT or WA, implying they were not locals. 

The reason they had come to Adelaide was because of the poor social conditions where they came from. The Minister was also reported to have said that the SA Government was looking to "remove them" to some suitable place in the parklands that border the city!

All this was unfolding during NAIDOC week and as the campaign for a Yes vote for the Referendum on The Voice to Parliament tried to regain momentum.

Meanwhile, Premier Malinauskas announced millions of dollars of SA Government money to facilitate the merger of the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia. The initial announcement by the Government about the merger was that the merger would create an "internationally competitive." university for the State and benefit South Australian students. 

By the end of NAIDOC week, the media reported that the Premier was jetting to China and part of the reason was to try and attract more overseas students from China to the coming new merged University in Adelaide. 

The SA Government's quick action to improve safety for parliamentary staffers and city office workers is in contrast to the lack of action to provide relief (rather than a paddy wagon!) for homeless people and mentally ill people and unemployed people.

In NAIDOC week, there is the stark contrast between a Premier off to China to bring more overseas students to Adelaide compared with the Government cursing under its breath the visiting First Nations people from the NT and WA.


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