A book paying tribute to the Griffith residents who stood up to mafia will be released at Collins Bookstore in Griffith on Wednesday.
Griffith Wars: the powerful true story of Donald Mackay’s murder and the town that stood up to the mafia, is based on the personal diaries of co-author Terry Jones.
Mr Jones is a friend of Donald Mackay who was editor of The Area News in the late 1970s – when the prominent Griffith businessman was murdered.
Mr Jones, who wrote the book with acclaimed novelist Tom Gilling, will be signing copies of the book at Collins from 9am to 12pm on Wednesday.
Mr Jones said his book is a challenge the calls the “Griffithization” of his former town – the desire to forget and deny a dark period in the MIA’s history.
“Griffith needs to ask itself if it wants to start its second century the same way it ended the last 40 years of its first century,” Mr Jones.
Griffith Wars chronicles the assassination of Donald Mackay, a Liberal Party politician and popular businessman, who was outspoken critic of illegal drug trading.
Mr Jones’ book then highlights the efforts of the group calling themselves the Concerned Citizens, who rose up and risked their lives in attempt to save their town from mafia control.
Mr Jones does not believe the organised crime in Griffith is a thing of the past.
“The truth of the matter is Griffith continues to have a dark underbelly,” Mr Jones said.
“Australia’s biggest drug raids happened in Griffith in 2006”.
Mr Jones said that while marijuana distribution was big in the 1970s, the criminal cartels have moved on to harder drugs, like Crystal methamphetamine (ice) and ecstasy.
“Somewhere along the line there needs to be another Don Mackay”.
Mr Jones said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposed new federal government super-ministry of Home Affairs – which will include police and intelligence organisations – could lift the lid on criminal networks operating in the MIA
“It’s going to bite them on the bum if they don’t own up to the truth of Griffith”.
Mr Turnbull, when working as a journalist, wrote an article calling Griffith the pot capital of Australia in a 1997 article for the now defunct Bulletin magazine.
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