Residents in a tiny opal mining town 1000 kilometres from Adelaide say they’ve been the target of racial discrimination.
Mintabie is in the process of being wiped off the map after damning allegations of violence and drug trafficking.
The state government and traditional land owners have decided to shut the town, booting out all its residents, after a review found Mintabie serves as a haven of illegal activity, and a gateway for trafficking drugs and alcohol into the APY lands.
The decision’s infuriating locals, who say they’ve been demonised for being white.
They’ve now banded together and hired lawyer Todd Grant to help pursue legal action against the government.
“They’re terminating the lease eight years early, and they’ve told everyone they’ve got to be out by either the 30th of June or the 11th of February,” Mr Grant told 7 News.
“It’s a weird way to stop the drug trade by evicting all the legal residents, and it’s unlikely the drug runners are going to obey a notice of eviction.”
Many of the town’s 60 residents have been in Mintabie for decades – few want to leave.
But those without a permit to be on APY land will need to go by the end of the month. If they stay there, they’ll be in breach of the APY act, and subject to criminal prosecution
Many who have nowhere else to go, will not be compensated for the houses they’ve lived in for 30 or 40 years and invested their savings in.
The government declined to comment on camera for 7News, but says the town’s closure will go ahead.
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