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Goomeroi Embassy: Fire burns the tent but not the spirit

A Gomeroi Elder has declared the Moree Tent Embassy will be re-built "bigger and better" after it was destroyed in an arson attack last Saturday.

Lyall Munro Senior has declared the importance of Tent Embassies to all Aboriginal peoples as a sign of their sovereignty ... this story can be read in the NIT Print Edition, or through NIT online subscription.

Tent embassy burns down

Moree Champion 18 September 2012

The Moree Tent Embassy burnt down on Saturday.

Police are appealing for information on the fire, which they believe to have been deliberately lit.

Emergency services were called to the blaze near the skate park off Balo Street about 5.45pm on Saturday.

NSW Fire Brigade attended the scene. They worked to contain the fire but the tent structures were completely destroyed.

No-one was injured.

Police have described the possible offender as a male youth of Aboriginal appearance, 12-years -old with black hair and wearing a yellow shirt and blue baseball cap at the time.

Elder Lyall Munro said the Aboriginal community was very disappointed the tent embassy had been destroyed.

“This is the biggest insult to Aboriginal people since people came out here and took the children,” he said.

“I can’t understand why Aboriginal people are committing robberies, why people are lighting fires and why they have lost their identity.”

Mr Munro has been a driving force behind Moree’s Aboriginal community for more than 60 years, and he is shocked that young Aboriginal people would burn down their tent embassy.

A police officer told the Moree Champion there was probably more witnesses as the fire was lit during the day.

Anyone who may have been in the area at the time or witnessed suspicious behaviour is urged to contact Moree Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police also remind residents that lighting a fire on a day of total fire ban attracts a fine of up to $5500 and/or 12-months jail.

Goomeroi Sovereign Embassy: The Moree Tent Embassy is a peaceful camp working to create Aboriginal solutions to the complex historical, legal, racial and social issues damaging the community.