A young boy has allegedly been raped in a remote desert community in the Northern Territory.
The boy was allegedly attacked at Ali Curung, about 170km south of Tennant Creek, where a two-year-old girl was reported to have been raped in a house on February 15.
Ali Curung has a population of about 500, almost all of whom are indigenous, and is part of the Barkly Regional Council area which also takes in Tennant Creek.
A remote recruitment website advises of Ali Curung: ‘The easiest way to find the community is to follow the overhead power lines from Tennant Creek.’
The road from the Stuart Highway into Ali Curung, about 170km south of Tennant Creek
This two-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a man, 24, in a house at Tennant Creek last month
Ali Curung, where a four-year-old boy was allegedly raped, is 170km south of Tennant Creek
In April last year the ABC reported extra police had been sent to the community in an effort to control an ongoing conflict between two clan groups.
A Northern Territory police spokesman said at the time the fighting had continued ‘on and off’ for several days.
The name Ali Curung is a local indigenous phrase meaning ‘country of the dogs’, ‘dog area’, or ‘dog dreaming’.
Ali Curung has historically had major problems with alcohol consumption and crime.
Barkly Regional Council chief executive Edwina Marks said in 2015: ‘It’s the same thing, extraordinary consumption of alcohol. There’s a lot of anti-social behaviour.’
‘People are leaving their kids and going off and buying grog at 10am. People desert their family life.’
Restrictions on alcohol sale and consumption have since been tightened.
Ali Curung and Tennant Creek (pictured) have long had serious problems with alcohol
Two small children have been reported as having been raped in the Northern Territory this year
Alcohol consumption is also restricted in Tennant Creek, where a 24-year-old man has been charged with sexual assault and refused bail over the incident in February.
In that case the alleged victim was flown to Alice Springs Hospital before being rushed to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, where she was placed in an induced coma due to the severity of her injuries.
Her parents are understood to have troubled pasts and are known to be heavy drinkers.
The Northern Territory Government has admitted it failed to protect the girl.
Tennant Creek has a population of 3,000, one supermarket and 10 main alcohol retailers, including three clubs, two pubs, three bottle shops and two licensed motels.
Tennant Creek (pictured) has a population of about 3,000 and 10 main alcohol retailers
Crime statistics showed in the year ending December 31, 2017 there were 319 assaults – more than one for every 10 Tennant Creek citizens – and 13 sexual assaults.
Domestic violence-related assaults had risen 32.7 per cent to 264 in the same period and alcohol-related assaults rose 21.9 per cent to 256 incidents.
A dispute involving a number of people in a house on Bornite Street on February 6 allegedly led to the death of a 44-year-man 10 days later.
Northern Territory Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw told reporters in February that Tennant Creek was ‘probably the highest policed population in Australia.’
Tennant Crrek is the fifth largest town in the Northern Territory with a population of 2991 at the 2016 Census. Slightly more than half its residents – 1536 – are indigenous.
The town is on the Stuart Highway, about 1,000km south of Darwin and 500km north of Alice Springs.
Barkly Regional Council mayor Steve Edgington demanded Chief Minister Michael Gunner address the issues plaguing Tennant Creek following the alleged rape.
‘My reaction is shock and horror, like many residents of Tennant Creek,’ Mr Edgington said last month.