PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd will come face to face with indigenous leaders today as he prepares to deal personally with the "challenges" confronting the Commonwealth intervention in Northern Territory communities amid the growing outrage over the gang-rape of a 10-year-old Aboriginal girl on Cape York.Rudd was Queensland Premier Wayne Goss's chief of staff when the State government shredded evidence of another Aboriginal child gang rape and cover-up:
A YOUNG Aboriginal woman has confirmed claims by several former staff members of a Brisbane youth detention centre that she was gang-raped while being held in the centre as a 14-year-old. The woman, now in her mid-twenties, said she was gang-raped twice on a supervised outing from the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in the late 1980s. Former members of staff at the centre also have claimed the matter was "swept under the carpet" and "hushed up".Further:
THE former Children's Court magistrate who conducted the aborted 1989 inquiry into the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre was told of claims that a 14-year-old Aboriginal girl in care was gang-raped. But the inquiry by former magistrate Noel Heiner was terminated by the Goss government whose cabinet directed that all of Mr Heiner's materials be shredded in 1990.One supposes Rudd is well qualified for dealing with the latest cover-up in The Midnight State.
Allegations that the centre's management knew of the rape, for that it had been covered up for 12 years, were raised in The Courier-Mail on Saturday.
A former centre youth worker... When asked if he had volunteered information about the rape claim or had been questioned about it, the man said; "He (Mr Heiner) asked...he knew about it already." The man said everyone in the centre knew about the rape allegation.
A former minister in the Goss cabinet, Pat Comben said on television in 1999 that "in broad terms" the cabinet had been aware that the shredded documents had contained information about child abuse.