NSW Parliament votes for inquiry into Bowraville murders

NSW Parliament votes for inquiry into Bowraville murders

November 27, 2013

A NSW Parliamentary committee will hear from the relatives of the Bowraville murder victims as early as next year after the Upper House voted unanimously in favour of an inquiry. It's a development the families say gives them hope.

It is a small victory after more than two decades of protest by the families of the victims for justice for their three children - Colleen Walker, 16, Evelyn Greenup 4, and Clinton Speedy-Duroux, 16.

From 1990-1991, the three children all disappeared from the same stretch of road on Bowraville mission.

There has only been one man accused of the crimes - but despite two court cases and a coronial inquest, he has never been convicted. A lot of the blame lies in the original botched police investigation, which was hindered by racism.

Over the past two decades the families of these three children have struggled to secure the attention of mainstream media and the public, and have consistently been met with apathy. Whilst cases of murdered and missing children always garner public attention and outrage, this case, for the most part, didn't. 

Earlier this year, the state Attorney General Greg Smith knocked back what was seen as the last avenue for justice. He decided against using his powers to refer the case back to the Court of Criminal Appeal. He said the new evidence collected by the new police investigation was neither "fresh" or compelling".

In a meeting with the families Mr Smith further compounded the trauma of these families by saying they had to move on and recommended grief counseling.

But the families have consistently said what they need is justice, not counseling. They have not given up and they will continue to fight. They should stand as an inspirational to all Australians.

Last Thursday, supported by Tracker magazine and NSWALC, 150 people protested outside state Parliament House in Sydney, calling for Mr Smith to renege on his decision or for a parliamentary inquiry into the murders.

Protests routinely end in disappointment, but this protest ended with a glimmer of hope.

Greens MLA David Shoebridge was able to get in principle support for a parliamentary inquiry into the murders. It will be voted on tomorrow and it represents another chance to get the accused back on the witness stand.

NSWALC will keep members updated on this important case.