Towns where outsiders are banned

Nick Squires

Aboriginal communities claim that they deserve to be treated the same as any other town, but sharp differences exist in their attitude to reporters. A request to spend a day in Wadeye was denied. To visit such settlements, outsiders require a permit from the relevant Aboriginal land council. The people had decided they did not want any reporters in the town, said Christopher Francis, director of corporate services for the town's Thamarrurr Council. 'I wouldn't expect that to change for a couple of weeks at least.'

A correspondent from The Australian was also banned, prompting charges from the newspaper that Aboriginal towns were operating 'a form of apartheid that few Australians would support'.