The Courier-Mail confirmed to Crikey today that its chief police reporter Paula Doneman has resigned.

According to one of our sources, Doneman, the daughter of a police officer, quit over The Courier Mail‘s reporting on Palm Island affairs. Her resignation follows “the latest story published on Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley. She was apparently furious at the latest treatment of the officer and quit in disgust.”

While we haven’t confirmed whether she quit early this week or late last week, Friday’s editorial, a possible source of friction, read:

Tangled up in the misguided protests from members of the Queensland Police Service over the charges laid against Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley is the legitimate issue of adequate resourcing.

Police are right to be concerned about the level of government support their fellow officers receive in remote and potentially violent places such as Palm Island. But giving vent to that concern should not require members of the police service to stand against basic notions of justice.

In a similar vein, Paul Williams wrote in last Thursday’s Courier-Mail:

It’s not difficult to share the Queensland Police Union’s concern and desire to protect one of its members, Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley, serving in one of the toughest and most thankless professions. But the union’s knee-jerk threats of industrial action, its march in Brisbane yesterday, and its promise to soon march on Parliament are all grossly inappropriate responses.

We left messages with Doneman and Courier-Mail editor David Fagan for further information about what led to the resignation but both were unavailable.

Peter Fray

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