Police were called to a Yarra Ranges Council meeting last night, with the Mayor forced to shut down the fiery gathering citing “safety concerns” after a number of outbursts from members of the public.
“Due to the safety of Councillors and staff, I felt I had no other course of action but to close the meeting to the public,” said Mayor, Jim Child.
“Police were called to assist with the crowd of 100+ agitators, who didn’t follow the rules we set down for Council meetings. Sadly, this had an unfair impact on those who did. I’d like to thank the police who assisted with the crowd and ensured that people left the Council meeting safely.”
The meeting was later reconvened online.
“Whilst we welcome the views of our community and are keen for them to take part in Council meetings, we need to make sure that this is done in a safe and respectful environment for staff, Councillors and other members of the gallery,” said Mayor Child.
“All community members are welcome to submit questions, submissions, and petitions to Council for consideration and an answer.”
He said public question time was held at every Council meeting as close as practical to the start of the meeting.
“Making a public outburst towards staff at a Council meeting doesn’t help anyone, disrupts the important items on the agenda and can risk the safety of our staff and other community members present.”
“We’re very disappointed in the conduct we saw last night, and we will not tolerate it at further meetings.”