Gangs running riot in 'forgotten' outback town

Residents of a South Australian outback town soon to be wiped off the map claim authorities have forgotten them.

Mintabie locals say violent gangs are running riot and threatening their safety.

The opal mining town sits 1000 kilometres northeast of Adelaide in the heart of the outback.

From the outside, it looks peaceful, but residents say it’s anything but.

Mintabie has become a hotbed for violence after the government announced it was to be wiped from the map, locals claim. Source: 7News
Local Angela Ellis says the town is “out of control”. Source: 7News

“I’ve never ever seen anything to this extent, it reminds me of South Africa where you’ve got to put barbed wire around your fence, and you sit inside and have an armed guard out the front of your property,” resident Angela Ellis said.

Shops are being trashed and locals violently assaulted by gangs running riot.

“It’s out of control, you’ve got the pub been broken into three times, the indigenous kids are coming in and throwing rocks,” Ms Ellis said.

Businesses have been destroyed in the wake of the town’s closure. Source: 7News
Around 60 locals still call Mintabie home. Source: 7News

The town will be wiped off the map this time next year after a damning report found it was being used as a haven for illegal activity and an access point for drugs and alcohol into the APY lands.

But for now, around 60 people still call it home, and they say they’ve been forgotten.

“If you try and ring SAPOL you end up with Port Augusta, you can’t get hold of anybody,” Ms Ellis said.

“It’s scary, someone’s going to be hurt.”

The waiting game is already taking a toll as Ms Ellis claims three people have been hospitalised in the last six weeks due to stress related illnesses.

A number of elderly residents had initially expressed a desire to stay in the town but they are now likely to think twice about protesting the final 12 months they were handed by the South Australian government.