top of page

Peppimenarti ‘refugees’ flee, Police Minister’s flight cancelled due to ‘unrest’, call for Federal help

[supplied by Lydia Harnett]


Image: supplied

The Northern Territory TRG left Peppimenarti on the Thursday before Easter, 6 April, 2023, only to return on 27 April 2023, abandoning residents to looting and violence. Most of the remaining residents of Peppimenarti have been forced to flee.


An emergency meeting with Ray Wheat the CEO of Deewin Kirim with Dheran Young, M.L.A., the Territory Member for Daly and Kate Worden, the N.T. Police Minister was hastily called off on Thursday, 27 April, because Chartair suddenly stopped the flight "due to unrest in the Peppimenarti community." 

Wheat, in a letter sent to Dheran Young MLA wrote "no one can be expected to live in
Peppimenarti under the conditions we have all been forced to endure, with absolute!); no support from Police or Territory Families. It is a national disgrace and so bad that I can't even begin to explain the incidents that have occurred since the TRG left the community on the Thursday prior to Easter (6 April 2023). It has been this way since early 2020."

On Saturday, 8 April 2023, members of the Jovi Boys gang broke into the shop manager's house, next door to the ranger coordinator. On Easter Monday, 10 April 2023 and 11 April 2023, a woman was allegedly choked and bashed over two (2) days by a Jovi Boy gang member. She had to be flown on a careflight to Darwin for urgent treatment.

According to Wheat, the Women's Refuge at Peppimentarti had been closed down because of
unchecked violence and the victim had nowhere to run.

On 13 April 2023, the shop manager's vehicle was stolen and she was stalked outside her home. On Friday, 14 April 2023, thirty (30) adults and youths attacked a household of two (2) adults and their six (6) grandchildren, aged from five (5) to ten (10) years. The Police took forty (40) minutes to respond. Their assailants threatened to "shoot them dead."

On Friday, 14 April 2023, there was a break-in of the ranger coordinator's duplex and his ute was stolen. On Sunday, 16 April 2023, there was a break-in into the school and food was stolen.

At 1:30 am, on Monday, 17 April 2023, Ray Wheat's home was broken into and he was physically assaulted. His home has been trashed. There have been continuous break-ins to the property on virtually every night since 17 April 2023.

The Peppimenarti Clinic was closed on the afternoon of 27 April 2023 when the nurses were forced to leave their posts. Local services have been stopped: too dangerous to work. The public school is unable fully to operate and parents have been told by Police: "Leave Peppi if you feel unsafe." The school cannot provide food to pupils, as the Peppimenarti shop is closed. The nearest place for them to buy food is thirty-one (31) kilometres away at Palumpa. The local Ambulance and other medical facilities have also left Peppimenarti. On 26 April 2023, police were attacked on the road just outside Peppimenarti by the Jovi Boys.

Sydney lawyer, Stewart Levitt, representing much of the Peppimenarti community, decried a
situation where the Police have let things get so far out of hand residents have been reduced to refugees from their own homes. Gangs have effectively taken control of the roads and now, of the skies, as well, blocking the Police Minister from attending an emergency meeting with
community representatives.

"The Federal Government should consider Federal intervention and deploying either the
Australian Federal Police or the Army to support the NT Police in protecting the rights of
the people of Peppimenarti to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of which they have been
deprived by serial ineptitude and neglect by the NT Government and Police", Levitt said.


Read more

Aboriginal community of Laramba feels safe to drink tap water now uranium levels are within guidelines [Charmayne Allison, ABC] The outback community used to have almost triple the recommended levels of uranium in its drinking water and Laramba residents feared the water might be having adverse effects on their health.

Read more

Caring for the half wild dogs of Yuendumu Aboriginal Community [Jacqueline Landey, Aljazeera] Twenty years ago, when Gloria Morales arrived in Yuendumu, a remote community in Australia’s Northern Territory, “there were dead dogs everywhere”, she remembers.

Read more

First Nations lifeguards make a splash in Woorabinda [by Rhianna King] Woorabinda locals Michael, Gerald and Rex have dived headfirst into their new roles as lifeguards, supported by Community Spirit Foundation and UNICEF Australia.







bottom of page