Hundreds attend Logan tensions meeting
Hundreds of people spilled out the doors of a community meeting in Logan, south of Brisbane, on Thursday night to discuss tensions dividing sections of the community.
Media was asked to leave the meeting shortly after it started.
A neighbourhood dispute over vandalised cars involving two families became a flashpoint for simmering racial tensions between Aborigines and Pacific Islanders in the satellite city south of Brisbane this week.
Although a truce was brokered between two feuding families – the Briggs and the Palaus – in Woodridge on Tuesday night, the elders and community leaders on both sides fear the trouble will not end.
Since Tuesday, there have been reports of sporadic, brief stand-offs in streets and at shopping centres where Aboriginal and Pacific Islander youths have come across each other.
Indigenous community leader Paul Butterworth said he hoped young people would come forward to voice their grievances at the meeting to be held at the Yugambeh Dreaming Community Centre on Kingston Road.
"It's all about the children. We do want these young fellas to come in and to be able speak up," he said.
"We'd like to see these young fellas stand up and tell us what's going on in the community - let us know what's happening to them out there on the streets, because they've obviously been crying for a long time and nobody's listening."
Logan Superintendent Noel Powers, who was unarmed when he put himself between brawling youths on Douglas Street on Monday night, will be attending Thursday night's meeting.
"I'll be there as a participant to address any concerns and answer any questions," he said.
"We want to help map out a way forward."
Logan Pacific Islander elder Ofa Fukofuka said he had also organised a meeting between the Pacific Island and the indigenous families involved from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday.
Mr Fukofuka said he’s expecting about 150 people at that meeting.
"The goal is for both sides to talk about solutions."
Superintendent Powers said police had not been called to any incidents involving Aboriginal or Pacific Islander youths on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, the Aboriginal family at the centre of this week's clashes embarked on a fresh start on the Gold Coast on Wednesday. The Briggs family moved from their Woodridge home, under an offer extended to both families by Premier Campbell Newman.
The family had previously applied to the Department of Housing to move from Logan. The application was expedited after Monday night's violent street clash on Douglas Street that saw the riot squad called in.
The community meeting began at 7pm.