Therese Binge, 43, disappeared from Goondiwindi on July 18, 2003. Her body was found 12 days later beneath a concrete culvert about 10km southwest of Boggabilla, NSW.
RESPONSES TO CORONER'S RECOMMENDATIONS
(Recommendations made prior to 1 July 2009
Name of deceased:
Therese Beatrice BINGE
Date of Finding
Year of Death
Cause of death
That the NSW Government give urgent consideration to firstly drafting and placing before Parliament legislation, and secondly
, conducting the necessary negotiations with other states to permit the NSW Police Force to operate effectively in Bord
er towns, regardless of the existing State border
The New South Wales Attorney General has agreed to the implementation of national model laws on cross-
border investigative powers through the Standing Committee of Attorneys General.
Attorney General, Minister for Aboriginal
Affairs and Premiers
That Aboriginal communities, particularly remote communities in NSW, be provided with timely and professional counselling and victim support services immediately following a suspicious death of a member of that community. That person should be sensitive to the issues that concern Aboriginal people.
Department of Aboriginal Affairs has an increased regional presence to assist in increasing the capacity and resilience of individuals and communities. A focus on regional staff knowledge of Victims Services (VS) will be undertaken.
DJAG: immediate family members are eligible for counselling under the Approved Counselling Scheme (ACS) where it is presumed that a death is the result of homicide.
Referrals in these situations are prompt and all efforts are made to locate an Approved Counellor asap to take up the referral.
VS would make all efforts to refer the family to an
Approved Counsellor who has indicated in their application that they have
appropriate training and experience in working with Aboriginal clients.
Whilst it is often difficult to locate counsellors in rural and remote regions, we have successfully trialed a service in Bourke/Walgett where we fund an approved counsellor to attend on a regular basis to provide regular therapeutic services. This has been so successful, VS are going to enter into a similar process in Condobolin and would consider this as an option in any community that experienced a homicide in an Aboriginal community given the high level of vulnerability of these family victims.
The Approved Counselling Scheme is a specialist service focused on the impact of crime to eligible applicants and provides individual and family counselling rather than community or group work approach. Alternatively Victims Services will work with local service providers such as the AMS , Aboriginal Health Workers and Family Violence Workers or more likely to work with communities rather than individuals.
In 2010 VS will be undertaking a targeted strategy to recruit counsellors to the ACS in those areas where there are gaps in s
ervice delivery - this will include rural areas and Aboriginal counsellors.
Victims Services will also be renewing all existing MOUs with new provisions requiring them to evidence their experience and
training in working with Aboriginal victims. VS are looking to establish a competency criteria, that counsellors will be required to meet before VS will refer Aboriginal clients. To give the counsellors an opportunity to bring their skills up to speed over the past two years VS have provided tailored competency based training for working with Aboriginal victims through the Education Centre Against Violence.
VS also introduced the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Contact Line in July 2008. A combination of these strategies has
already resulted in a 40% increase in Aboriginal victims applying for counselling since July 2008.
That an Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer or other equivalent specialist be deployed and utilised to interview any member of the Aboriginal community who wishes to give information regarding the disappearance and death of Therese Binge. All relevant information is to be collected and submitted via the NSW Police Eagle Eye System for analysis as part of the ongoing investigation.
The matter has been referred to the Unsolved Homicide Team for attention. The matter has been captured on the database and will be progressed at the earliest opportunity.
More than a hundred members of her family and friends gathered on Saturday morning in Boggabilla determined not to rest until that answer is found.
Images of Theresa Binge were everywhere at Saturday's rally.
Photographs on t-shirts and posters showed a smiling woman who loved her family and was loved in return.
Heavy rain forced the cancellation of the planned march and a change of venue but that didn't keep numbers down.
"Whether it rained or snowed, we'd still come, and we'll keep coming until we know the truth," Theresa's sister Lilli Binge said.
For the family the thought that someone who could help them is remaining silent is deeply painful.
"Someone knows something, someone saw something," said Theresa's niece, Elenore Binge.
"They'll never have any peace until they speak out and neither will we."
Theresa Binge was last seen alive at the Royal Hotel in Goondiwindi on July 18, 2003.
She was reported missing when she didn't attend a family function two days later. Police and member of the community mounted an extensive search on both sides of the border but it wasn't until July 29 that her body was found in a culvert on Boomi Rd 10km north of Goondiwindi.
Most of her clothes were missing and she had bruises on her face, jaw and thigh which lead Police to believe she may have been kicked and punched.
Forensic tests ruled out sexual assault and Police believe she was murdered elsewhere before her body was dragged from a car and dumped by the side of the road.
As the years have passed, the anger and frustration felt by her family have only grown. Police are also frustrated.
"The investigation is still open and we appeal for anyone with information to come forward," said Inspector Tim Beattie who addressed the crowd,
"I don't like having to come here year after year with the case unsolved,
"I want to be able to come and tell you, 'We've got him'," he said.
NSW and Queensland Police have offered a joint reward of $250,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the crime.
"Maybe the reward will encourage someone to come forward," Inspector Beattie said.
Some at the rally expressed anger at a perceived lack of communication from Police and some asked why a DNA screen of the men in Boggabilla and Goondiwindi had not been carried out.
"DNA is not the issue in this case – it wouldn't help us," said Inspector Beattie.
"We need information from the community."
Theresa's sister Lilli said, "There's a lot of gossip, but gossip's no good.
"We need evidence."
Theresa's family is looking forward to the case being brought before Glebe Coroner's Court and believe an inquest may be the only way to establish the identity of the murderer.
"We're waiting on a date and we think the Coroner will be Jackie Milledge, the one who's doing the inquest into the death of the lady who died on the cruise ship," Lilli said.
"She's a good Coroner, and she can make people testify."
Madeliene McGrady supports the inquest but felt people shouldn't wait any longer if they know something that might help.
"It's not good enough for Theresa," she said,
"Our mob should stick together – we need to fight for justice, not just sit back.
"We have to find out the truth and we have to have justice."
If you have any information concerning the disappearance and death of Theresa Binge contact: Crimestoppers: 1800 333 000 (anonymous calls welcome) or the
Boggabilla Police: 46719 299
Goondiwindi Police: 46717 777