Ballarat City Council: Protest shutdown slammed at meeting

OPPOSED: Cr Grant Tillett says Ballarat City staff should not have intervened in a protest at Bupa Ballarat Nursing Home on Monday.
OPPOSED: Cr Grant Tillett says Ballarat City staff should not have intervened in a protest at Bupa Ballarat Nursing Home on Monday.

Ballarat City Council Intervention in industrial action at a Delacombe nursing home has come under fire for infringing on community rights.

Cr Grant Tillett said during a council meeting on Wednesday night that shutting down the barbecue and protest at Bupa Ballarat Nursing Home was unprecedented.

“This was the first time any such activity has been shut down, anywhere in Victoria, except for a riot,” he said.

“It should not have been interfered with under any circumstances by council.

“If it was a problem it should have been a police matter.”

Council apologised for shutting down the protest in a media release, but also said a a permit was required to host a barbecue.

"The City of Ballarat apologises for any distress caused to those workers or families supporting the legitimate industrial action," the media release said. 

"A permit is still required and the City of Ballarat is now working with the appropriate union representatives to issue a permit for this location."

A Bupa spokesperson said the company was not involved in the decision.

“We respect our people’s choice to take part in union-led activity, as they have at a number of locations around Victoria today," the spokesperson said. 

"Any decision to close down a barbecue in a public place can only be made by local council.”