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Victoria Police drops fines against organisers of controversial right-wing events

Victoria Police will have to foot the massive bill for the resources deployed during violent protests which broke out during visits from controversial right-wing speakers.

3AW’s Neil Mitchell revealed today that police have received legal advice indicating they are not in a position to recover the costs from the commentators.

Milo Yiannopoulos was billed $50,000 after riot police stormed a protest during his event in Kensington in 2017.

Lauren Southern was also hit with a $68,000 fine after her visit in 2018.

Dave Pellowe, co-founder of Axiomatic Events, which brought Ms Southern to Melbourne, says he never intended to pay the fine.

“The Victorian government has been using these invoices as a form of bluff and bluster to try and discourage conservative speakers,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“There was no ability to collect this and no intention to collect it.

“It was always a political tool.”

Mr Pellowe said holding event holders responsible for the behaviour of people outside the events is “immoral”.

“The only reason police were needed were for the lawless thugs who were inciting violence and uncivil behaviour out on the road, in the public area, with nothing to do with the event.”

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