Maribyrnong councillors attacked over Yarraville parking meters at meeting
A man has handed himself in over the breakout of violence at a Maribyrnong council meeting that left the deputy mayor shaking and teary.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
- A vote on a motion to remove Yarraville parking meetings was tied 3-3
- Mayor Cameron McDonald used his casting vote to reject the motion
- A gallery of about 80 people began heckling
- Cr Grant Miles was then allegedly punched in the face by a man
- Cr Nam Quach was allegedly then body-slammed, breaking his glasses and leaving his face bloodied
- Police arrived at Footscray Town Hall, but the offender (either one or two men) had fled
- A 61-year-old man handed himself into police on Wednesday morning
Police confirmed on Wednesday a Yarraville man, 61, had been charged with one count of recklessly causing injury and two counts of unlawful assault after chaos erupted at Tuesday night’s meeting.
He has been released on bail and will appear in court on January 28 next year.
A Mount Waverley man, 28, was interviewed at the scene but not charged.
Councillor Michael Clarke told Tom Elliott the vote affected many people’s livelihoods.
Cr Clarke said a lot of people took issue with a perceived smirk on Cr Miles’ face after the vote.
Tom said assaulting Councillors because you disagree with their decision is ‘unbelievable’.
Listen: Cr Clarke speaks to Tom Elliott
Deputy mayor Catherine Cumming, who didn’t vote on the matter due to a direct interest as a local property owner, told Ross and John it was a low-point in her 18 years as a councillor.
‘I didn’t sleep much last night,’ she said.
‘All I’ve been doing is shaking, I’ve been teary.
‘One of my fellow councillors was even worried someone had a weapon.’
Listen: Click play to hear from the clearly shaken deputy mayor
Anti-meter campaigner Megan Darling told Neil Mitchell she didn’t know who the attackers were.
She said that while protesters didn’t condone the violence – she apologised for an earlier reference to Arab Spring – the attacks showed there was a genuine problem.
Click play to hear her with Neil Mitchell
The decision to install parking meters has been contentious, with shoppers and traders against the move.
‘I guess you could say it had been brewing,’ Maribyrnong Star Weekly journalist Ben Millar, who was at the meeting, told Ross and John on 3AW Breakfast.
‘Paid parking in Yarraville, as you know, has been a bit of a hot topic in recent months.’
Click PLAY below to hear Ben Millar explain what unfolded.