3 Teen accused of attacking Aurukun School principal were on bail

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THREE teens charged with the armed robbery of an Aurukun school principal are due to face court again today amid revelations two of them were on bail over a previous attack.

The trio briefly appeared in the Cairns Children’s Court via videolink on Monday and were remanded in custody.

It will be alleged the three boys, aged 15 and 16, were armed with machetes and knives when they confronted Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy principal Scott Fatnowna and his wife, and stole their car late Saturday.

Northern Police Region Assistant Commissioner Paul Taylor confirmed two of the juveniles were also allegedly involved in an almost identical attack on Mr Fatnowna two weeks ago, which prompted teachers’ evacuation and the school to close.

“If there’s an application for bail, police will be arguing quite strongly against bail under the circumstances,” he said.

Senior Government officials travelled to Aurukun on Monday and met community leaders, police and teaching staff to discuss solutions to the ongoing unrest.

Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates welcomed a “greater understanding” between Government and teaching staff, which he hoped would lead to better housing.

Mr Bates said a decision to grant the alleged offenders bail again would present the union with “real concerns”.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt says directors-general from across Government flew to Aurukun on Monday as the Government ramps up its efforts to address issues in the community. Teachers had only returned to the community last week after the previous attack on Mr Fatnowna.

Five extra police have been stationed in Aurukun, taking the total number to 17.

Police have also increased patrols to stop alcohol being brought into the dry community.

Education Minister Kate Jones said the principal was being supported and doing well.

Wik Women’s Group co-founder Phyllis Yunkaporta said the Aurukun community needed to take responsibility for what was happening.

“It’s a small group but they are making trouble for everyone.”

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