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Central Land Council condemns violence in Mparntwe, urges youth to follow cultural leadership

Giovanni Torre -

The executive committee of the Central Land Council has condemned the "senseless and shameful behaviour" witnessed in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the Land Council's executive met in Mparntwe and called for the perpetrators of the disturbance "to be held to account".

Council chair Matthew Palmer said: "It is never ok to frighten residents and damage their property."

"They have disrespected the native title holders of Mparntwe who have made it very clear how they expect people to behave," he said.

"Young people should not take matters into their own hands but follow cultural leadership and authority."

Deputy chair Warren Williams said the peacemakers deserve everybody's support.

"We commend the Aboriginal leaders and the steps they have taken so far and who are trying to resolve the dispute peacefully," he said.

"Cultural processes are best dealt with on country, under the guidance of the elders and senior community leaders."

The Council said it will support community leaders to help families resolve the underlying disputes.

The Northern Territory government declared an official emergency situation on Wednesday after hundreds of people were involved in a series of violent confrontations in the city after familial tensions in the wake of the death of a teenager escalated.

The government declared a 14-day curfew on youth, and said there would soon be more than 50 extra police deployed in the city "as soon as possible", in addition to 23 members of the Territory Safety Division already deployed to Mparntwe.

NT Chief Minister Eva Lawler said: "Enough is enough. I have heard the community and my government is acting."

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