"Friday, 4th November, 2011, 1PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Freedom to Protest Threatened by Council Action
Melbourne City Council have issued Occupy Melbourne with a Notice to Comply demanding occupiers remove advertising material and temporary camping equipment from Treasury Gardens.
Council officers served the notice at around 9:00AM on 4th November 2011. The notice was issued under the Activities Local Law 2009 and prohibits “portable advertising signs” and camping in a public place in a “tent, caravan or any type of temporary or provisional form of accommodation.”
When council officers returned to the site Occupy Melbourne claimed to be complying with council laws. The notice stated that Occupy Melbourne must “remove from the Treasury Gardens all items, goods and equipment or other property or thing that you are responsible for.”
Clarification was sought on the meaning of the term “thing” in the notice. Council officers responded that the term “thing” included tables, chairs, milk crates, signs that are not being held, signs laid down on the grass, tarps and sleeping bags.
Occupy Melbourne inquired as to why they were being treated differently to other individuals in the park but did not receive a reply. Ryan Tews from
Occupy Melbourne Logistics reported that one of the officers informed the occupiers that “it’s got to go or it’s going to escalate.”
Councillor Cathy Oke from the City of Melbourne has called for an inquiry into the council’s decision.
Sam – Media Team – 0439569289
Erin – Legal Support Spokesperson – 0434 126 515"