attributed to the Northern Territory Police is of a dead donkey being
towed by a 4WD utility.
From the articles comes an intriguing
tale of suburban sensibility confronted by frontier reality.
The facts as reported are a 13 year old
boy was stopped by police on routine traffic patrol at about 1 30 PM
on Thursday 13th October, on Coniston Road in the Northern
Territory. His vehicle was determined to be unroadworthy. He was
towing a dead donkey. A loaded firearm was discovered on the front
passenger seat of the vehicle. Two more firearms were discovered on
the back seat.
The boys 52 year old father was at a nearby cattle
station and he will be summonsed for various firearm and traffic
offences. The boy will also be considered for Youth Diversion for
traffic and firearms offences.
Coniston Road appears to run from the
Stuart Highway in a west northwesterly direction from between Aileron
and Titree about 150 km from Alice Springs. It passes through two cattle stations, Pine Hill and Coniston en route to a third, Mount Denison. It appears as though Mt. Denison traffic predominantly travels south to Yuendumu before taking the Tanami road into ‘Alice’.
There are some mining tenements that would use the Coniston Road for their access and some Aboriginal people would use it as they go about their daily business but, essentially, it is an internal road in two properties.
According to this page, Max and Jaquie Lines own the Coniston property and their son, Chris Lines that works the property is only 29 and unlikely to have a 13 year old son.
In December ’09, Mr Gil Bowman was the owner of Pine Hill station, though it appears to have been for sale in recent times. Mr Bowman owned the property as far back as 1986 and may have a son or grandson aged 13.
Mr Bowman fits the profile of the 52 year old father far more reasonably than does either Max or Chris Lines. Of course the 13 year old lad may have been a visitor to the station or a ringers son, but I doubt it.
Having set the scene, we have Gil Bowmans 13 year old son on a road which transects their property. A road that services some mine workers and another station. This is the country we expect to find people experiencing ‘boys own adventures’. Look at the way in which we embraced Troy Dann’s Outback Adventures or The Bush Mechanics.
For the NT police to ‘throw the book’ at the lad in the manner in which they appear to be considering suggests that nothing has changed in 80 years.
In 1928, Constable George Murray led what became known as the Coniston Massacre after the murder of a dingo trapper named Brooks. Not content to investigate the murder amongst the local people and apprehend the murderer to bring him to justice, Murray instigated a month of terror that would see numerous Aboriginal people dead or wounded.
Clearly overpolicing is still rife on the Coniston Road.
This post tells us that the lad is Gil Bowmans great nephew and that the book was thrown at his father to the tune of $1700. Read the comments!!