Extra police called
DARWIN - Police reinforcements remained at the top end Aboriginal community in Wadeye yesterday after a man was killed and another wounded in gunfire between police and rioters on Wednesday. Police were negotiating with elders to maintain the peace while the death was being investigated for a coroner, NT Assistant Police Commissioner Doug Smith said.
The shooting occurred after two groups of men from outside Wadeye, 350km south west of Darwin, clashed on the community oval.
Police admitted one man had been shot in the arm by a police officer who had intended to keep the peace. Police have not said who fired the fatal shot.
Five homes burned
SYDNEY - Bushfires burning across NSW have claimed five homes in the past 24 hours, the Rural Fire Service said yesterday.
RFS spokesman Cameron Wade said 82 bushfires were continuing to burn in NSW over more than 175,000ha of land, requiring more than 2000 firefighters.
Confirmation had only been received late yesterday that five homes had been destroyed on Wednesday in northern NSW.
He said there would be a total fire ban for 24 hours from midnight for all parts of NSW, except the South West Slopes, Riverina, Upper Western and Lower Western districts.
Fires in Sydney's west were among the worst yesterday.
BRISBANE - The death of a much- loved music teacher, hit by a falling tree during a school trip, was a freak accident, Queensland Education Minister Anna Bligh said yesterday.
Ms Bligh said little could have been done to prevent the death of 35-year- old Erica Brindley, a teacher at Urangan State High School at Hervey Bay, 300km north of Brisbane.
She died on Wednesday afternoon when a eucalypt came down in high winds on a rockpool at Carnarvon Gorge, in central Queensland, where students and teachers were swimming.
Three girls on the six-day music tour by 50 grade 8-12 students also were injured in the accident.
"By all accounts, it would appear to be a freak accident," Ms Bligh said.
"But naturally, it will be investigated to see if there is something we could learn from this terrible accident."
School excursions were an important part of children's education and Ms Bligh said there were no plans, at this stage, to change rules governing them.