Activist arrested over mine gun shot

Michael Dulaney
Activist arrested over mine site gun shot

A prominent Goldfields activist has been arrested by Laverton Police after he allegedly discharged a firearm in an attempt to stop mining activity near a sacred site at Mount Margaret.

The Kalgoorlie Miner understands Pastor Geoffrey Stokes was taken into custody yesterday after a confrontation near the Aboriginal community, 400km north east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Contacting the Miner yesterday afternoon, Mr Stokes’ wife Christine Jeffries-Stokes said she received a call from her husband yesterday to tell her he was at Laverton Police Station.

She said Mr Stokes was alleged to have fired a shot over the heads of people on site after finding the “mining action” near the base of Mount Margaret Hill.

“Mt Margaret Hill is a very significant area, both historically and culturally,” she said.

“He went back to Mt Margaret (community) and found out a bit about it (the operation), most people at Mt Margaret are unhappy but apparently some permissions had been given by others there who are actually probably not aware of the significance of the area.”

Mrs Jeffries-Stokes said Mr Stokes proceeded to return to the mine in an attempt to stop the work going on.

“He went back to the mine to tell them they needed to stop their activity because they were disrupting the significant areas,” she said.

“They ignored him and allegedly he fired a shot, I’m not sure about all that, but they’ve gone to the police and alleged that he fired a shot over their heads and so he’s been arrested.”

Laverton Police officer in charge Heath Soutar confirmed a 52-year-old man had been arrested at Mount Margaret yesterday afternoon in connection with the alleged incident, but was unable to release the name of the mine site where the incident took place.

The man has been charged with various firearms offences and will appear in the Laverton Magistrate's Court on November 27.