International review

Queensland anti-corruption campaigner Jim Dodrill ‘attacked’ in bushland

Австралийский борец с коррупцией Джим Додрил (Jim Dodrill ) был доставлен в больницу. Источник фото: The Guardian.

This material belongs to: The Guardian.

Queensland anti-corruption campaigner and his father say they were attacked by a group of men while walking in bushland west of Brisbane on the weekend.

Jim Dodrill and his father, Mitch, told police they were set upon by up to 20 men, some of them threatening their lives and others bashing them with bars.

Dodrill, the president of the Ipswich Ratepayers and Residents Association, said they had been taken to a dirt road at Collingwood Park, west of Brisbane, on Sunday by a man who said he wished to complain about trailbike riders in the area.

That man disappeared as a group of about six riders, as well as another 15 men nearby, came to confront and attack Dodrill and his father, he said.

Dodrill, who helped compile a dossier of allegations against the former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale and others that was tabled in state parliament, called police to the scene of the alleged attack.

There is no suggestion of any involvement by Pisasale, who was on friendly terms with Dodrill and his father until recent years, when Dodrill, who has twice stood as an independent for Ipswich council, became a critic of his.

The attack came two days after Dodrill appeared at a media event in Brisbane alongside the independent MP Rob Pyne, who called for a “federal Icac [independent commission against corruption]” in response to local government issues across Queensland.

Pyne, academic Cameron Murray and local government reform campaigner Jason Ward all recalled a non-media photographer at the event raising suspicions – to the point Ward chased him down the road.

The attack also came just over a week after the dossier about local politics in Ipswich was tabled by Pyne in state parliament.

Dodrill said one of the group confronting him and his father on Sunday told him, “We’re going to get that camera off you,” another stating they were “on private property”.

When Dodrill said they were “leaving now”, a man replied: “No you’re not fucking leaving with that camera. You’re dead.”

A man lunged at him and then he and his father were tackled to the ground with “punches, kicks and blows coming from everywhere”.

Dodrill said as seven men beat on him, one of them called out “kill the cunts, kill the cunts”.

“There was no ambiguity about what their intentions were. It was savage,” he said.

“I was stomped on and kicked and hit with poles and bars and rocks on the ground. It was increasing in ferocity and I thought this was the end, kind of thing.”

Dodrill, a karate teacher, got to his feet after a “slight pause” in the attack and with his father, backed away as a group of men that had narrowed down to about five continued to throw blows.

He told the men that police had been called, which wasn’t true at that point. When the attackers returned to their vehicles he called police, “I said our lives were in danger but the police took 45 minutes to find us”.

Dodrill was later treated in hospital for a cut to his head and bruised ribs, while Mitch, 73, received a wound to his arm.

A police spokesman said the Ipswich criminal investigations bureau was investigating the matter, but no one had been taken into custody or charged.