Forum to help ease tensions

Pastor of the Samoan Wesley Methodist Church in Forest Lake Moe Fonoti and elder Paul Butterworth representing the Briggs family. Photo: Inga Williams / The Reporter
Pastor of the Samoan Wesley Methodist Church in Forest Lake Moe Fonoti and elder Paul Butterworth representing the Briggs family. Photo: Inga Williams / The Reporter Inga Williams

A HANDSHAKE and it was all over.

The racial violence that was headline news across Queensland ended last Wednesday as the two families involved made peace.

The neighbourhood dispute between the Briggs and Palau families resulted in three days of violent brawling between groups of Aboriginals and Pacific Islanders.

Despite the friendly handshake between the two families, the Briggs family packed their bags and moved away from the city they called home.

Speaking to reporters before the move, a tearful Tim Briggs said his family's decision to leave Logan was in their best interests.

"I am not running away from the problems," he said.

"We want to start a new life, me and my wife and my family in a different area where we can meet other different brothers and sisters.

"We have got to move on and leave this behind us.


"We want to live in peace and they (the Palau family) want to live in peace."


Mr Briggs explained his family had already applied to move from Woodridge earlier, but after last week's violent clashes, their application was expedited.

In a bid to help prevent any further outbreaks in the future, a forum will be held next month where residents can have their say on what issues are affecting them in the local community.

Mayor Pam Parker said the two day forum would be an opportunity for her to speak with both ministers and the general public.

"The issues I want to discuss are with ministers that cover safety, education, unemployment, social infrastructure and housing," she said.

"It is an opportunity for everyone to work together in peace and harmony and work on positive solutions for our city.

"Because I don't want anything like this to happen in our city again."

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