Blaze rips through Aboriginal Tent Embassy


A fire this morning destroyed the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in South Brisbane.

No one was injured in the blaze but most posessions were ruined.

Eve Kelso reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Emergency crews were called to Musgrave Park at 7.15 in response to a fire engulfing the temporary tent structure, home to hundreds of people each week.

None of the regular residents could be located and the site looked to have been abandoned.

Police remained on the scene and are investigating the cause of the fire.

Tony Collins, Senior Sergent Qld Police: “Until we establish a cause of the fire and talk to all our witnesses it’s being treated as suspicious.”

Vox 1: “To tell you the truth, they got no respect. Yeah that’s true. They got no respect.”

Brendan, William and Anthony all spent time in the tent embassy and say they are deeply saddened by today’s events.

Residents of the tent embassy were anxious to gain access to the crime scene to check on their belongings and assess the damage.

The indigenous community are upset by the damage however elders say they have plans to rebuild the tent embassy and maintain the sacred fire.

Sam Watson, Aboriginal Activist: “Once that’s finished we’ll reclaim that sacred fire because that sacred fire came up to us from Canberra and it’s a very important symbol to us.”

Today’s fire comes almost five months after protests which resulted in Council assigning land in Musgrave Park to be used as a pemanant base for the tent embassy.

Eve Kelso, QUT News.