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Media Releases

Please direct all media enquiries to the ALS media team on 0427 346 017 or [email protected]

1 Nov 2021

New data shows burden of excessive COVID policing on court system

MEDIA RELEASE Monday 1 November 2021   The Aboriginal Legal Service is warning that excessive fines and charges issued by NSW Police will have an unsustainable impact on courts and slow the state’s recovery from COVID-19. The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) recently reported that NSW Police issued an extraordinary 36,597 COVID-19 public health order breaches in July and August...

12 Oct 2021

Death of Aboriginal man Gordon Copeland to be investigated in coronial inquiry

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 12 October 2021   The Aboriginal Legal Service is preparing to represent the family of Gomeroi man Gordon Copeland in a coronial inquest after his body was identified yesterday. Gordon, 22, was last seen alive in the Gwydir River near Moree after a police incident in the early hours of 10 July. His family say he was a passenger...

16 Sep 2021

‘We cannot fine our way out of the pandemic’: Legal profession calls on NSW Premier to revoke unlawful COVID-19 fines

MEDIA RELEASE Thursday 16 September 2021   Over 100 prominent members of the legal, academic and political profession have endorsed an open letter sent to the NSW Premier, calling on the NSW Government to revoke wrongly issued COVID-19 fines. The letter is a response to concerns among the legal fraternity that COVID-19 fines have been incorrectly issued by police to people undertaking lawful...

24 Aug 2021

Police must exercise discretion to avoid further COVID harm to Aboriginal communities

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 24 August 2021, 3:45 pm   The Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT (ALS) has issued an urgent demand for NSW Police to use discretion in applying public health orders, warning that excessive fines and charges will only cause further harm to communities. The ALS has received multiple calls from Aboriginal people fined and charged for breaching the public health orders...

20 Aug 2021

Aboriginal Legal Service condemns Police Commissioner’s carte blanche for officers to “get it wrong”

MEDIA RELEASE Friday 20 August 2021, 1:30 pm   The Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT (ALS) is deeply concerned by the NSW Police Commissioner’s pledge to not hold officers to account for wrongly applying public health orders. The ALS has previously cautioned against NSW Police using COVID-19 restrictions as an excuse to target Aboriginal people. “When the message from the top is that...

16 Aug 2021

‘Operation Stay Home’ must not be an excuse to target Aboriginal people

MEDIA RELEASE Monday 16 August 2021, 1:00 pm   As NSW Police commence ‘Operation Stay Home’, the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT has raised concerns about over-policing of Aboriginal communities and urged Aboriginal people to seek assistance in dealing with infringement notices. During last year’s COVID lockdown, police handed out the most fines in suburbs with a high Aboriginal population. People living in...

30 Jul 2021

Aboriginal Legal Service honours the legacy of founding member Hal Wootten

MEDIA RELEASE Friday 30 July 2021, 10:00 am   The Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT says Emeritus Professor Hal Wootten AC QC will be fondly remembered for his insight, compassion, and his great legacy in helping to establish the country’s first Aboriginal legal service. Prof Wootten passed away on Tuesday 27 July at the age of 98. He was a co-founder of the...

14 Jul 2021

Family and Aboriginal Legal Service demand answers after Aboriginal man dies in custody

MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 14 July 2021 Frank ‘Gud’ Coleman, a 43-year-old Ngemba man born in Brewarrina and raised in Mt Druitt, died on Thursday 8 July at the Long Bay Correctional Complex. Frank is one of at least 478 Aboriginal people to die in prisons and police incidents since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He is fondly remembered and...

22 Jun 2021

Aboriginal Legal Service invites community to elect Company Members

MEDIA RELEASE Additional note as of 24 June: Due to the COVID outbreak and restrictions imposed, the ALS is postponing the community meeting scheduled in Redfern on Saturday 26 June 2021 to elect ALS Company Members for the Central South Eastern Region. Please disregard information below for the Central South Eastern Region meeting and visit www.alsnswact.org.au/company_elections for up-to-date information. The Northern Region and Western...


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