Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has agreed to visit Palm Island
to explain a decision not to charge the police officer involved in
a contentious death in custody.
Mr Beattie admitted today the move not to charge Senior Sergeant
Chris Hurley over the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee had not been
"well explained" to the north Queensland community.
Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Leanne Clare
last week found there was not enough evidence to charge Snr Sgt
Hurley with Mulrunji's death.
The decision came despite a finding earlier in the year by
deputy state coroner Christine Clements that the police officer
inflicted the blows which killed Mr Doomadgee, 36, at the island's
police station in November 2004.
Palm Island's new mayor Delena Foster yesterday urged Mr Beattie
to visit the community, as tensions continued to simmer over the
Mr Beattie said today he would would visit on either Wednesday
He said he would present a report by the state's
Solicitor-General Walter Sofronoff, QC, explaining how two very
different verdicts could be reached.
"I accept that this hasn't been well explained," Mr Beattie told
"Clearly there will be some misunderstandings in the community
when you can have a coroner say one thing and a DPP say another,
unless it's explained adequately and properly, and I don't think
that's been done to date."
Mr Beattie said he would ask Mr Sofronoff to accompany him to
explain Ms Clare's findings, which have sparked nationwide
condemnation and calls for an independent review.
Mr Beattie said any review of the decision was a matter for
"But it is important that we respect the independence of the
DPP," Mr Beattie said.
"I don't have a problem if the DPP seeks another opinion, but it
is wrong for those who suggest that whenever the government of the
day doesn't like a DPP's decision we should overrule it in some
ALP national president Warren Mundine will lead protests on Palm
Island on Wednesday.
Mr Mundine said today he was embarrassed by his own political
party, and called on the Beattie government to reconsider the DPP