Anti-discrimination office being considered for Alice Springs
Posted 2 hours 14 minutes ago
Map: Alice Springs 0870
The Northern Territory's anti-discrimination commissioner says some parts of the hospitality industry believe they can treat Aboriginal people as second class citizens.
A group of Indigenous people say they were asked to leave The Haven backpacker resort in Alice Springs last weekend because other tourists were scared.
The hostel isn't returning phone calls but released a statement saying it offered to arrange for the group to stay somewhere else.
The Territory's anti-discrimination commissioner Tony Fitzgerald says it's not an isolated incident, but most never get investigated because people don't feel comfortable enough to report them.
"I've got to have the complaint from the actual person who's aggrieved, the person who suffers the injury.
"Most of the stories that we hear are from people third hand, representatives or people who are complaining about something that they've seen happen to someone else."
He says the only way to change the situation is to set up an anti-discrimination office in Alice Springs
"At the moment, the Government won't fund us to run a branch. But we need people on the ground in Alice to promote the issues, promote tolerance, promote respect, talk about what people's rights and responsibilities are.
"We can't do it on the phone from Darwin."
Alice Springs mayor Fran Kilgariff says she doesn't accept the manager's claim the hostel is only for international backpackers.
"I could think of a dozen ways that this situation could have been dealt with other than the way that it was. If these are international visitors, international backpackers, what more authentic experience could they have than meeting these young women from Yuendumu?"
The Government says it is considering setting up an anti-discrimination office in Alice Springs.