Wednesday, June 18, 2008

'Ned Kelly' protester bails up council meeting

The Mayor of the Hepburn Shire in Victoria cut short a council meeting at Daylesford last night, because of concerns about a Ned Kelly impersonator.

The man, dressed in a coat and metal helmet entered the meeting during public question time.

He was holding a sign protesting against the Council's plan to increase rates for the next financial year.

Mayor Tim Hayes says the man refused to remove his helmet and he had no option but to end the meeting.

"If you let that one pass the wicket-keeper, what else do you hold up as being acceptable?" he said.

"You know, you've gotta draw the line somewhere, and for people to, you know, to be saying that it was a silent protest, I think they've lost the plot quite frankly."

Bill McClenaghan was one of two councillors who refused to leave the meeting, because he believes the Mayor over-reacted.

He says the resident was entitled to protest against the council's budget.

"Councillor Hayes simply did not like his presence, but he was not disrupting the meeting," he said.

"Now, if Councillor Hayes wanted him to go, he should have given him three warnings, and I counted two, and then he should have rung the police and asked (for) him to be removed."


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