Following the Bourke Street terrorist attack on Friday, November 9, Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville may be secretly considering whether or not the targeted Bourke Street business owners should be charged for their use of Victoria Police resources — if she is consistent with past decisions.
In a previous interview on 3AW, Ms Neville, possibly wearing a red shirt, said:
I remember at the time [we charged organisers of the Milo Yiannopoulos tour] people said, “why are we charging for protests because he’s got a different view?” That is not the case. Any commercial activity, we ask for a contribution from those commercial providers where police are required.
Victoria Police have not yet confirmed whether the owners of commercial activities along Melbourne’s Bourke St have already been issued an invoice or how much it might be if they ever are. One possible number is $67,842.50.
Deep political thinkers known for their original slogans and peaceful tolerance of dissenting opinions have defended a ‘hefty police bill’. Completely validly and not at all symptomatic of an atrophying ability for critical thinking, many people interviewed by this publication drew comparisons to the AFL Grand Final, which pays for the use of police resources for unusual crowd management.
“Operating a CBD clothing outlet is clearly the same as the AFL Grand Final, because you can buy merchandise to wear at the footy too, and they both make a profit,” quipped Max, a Latrobe Uni student with pink hair.
Penelope, a thirty-something, well-dressed lady sipping a latte on the sidewalk by her 2018 indus silver Landrover outside Florentino remarked, “Look, I don’t see why a restaurant shouldn’t be made to pay if the AFL Grand Final has to. They both sell hot food, and taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to provide private security for either of them. It’s only fair.”
Less well dressed (who still wears Doc Martins and heavy black clothes?) but equally insightful was a 27 year old Monash Uni student with an unusually tight grip on a Red Bull in one hand who asked to not be named – possibly due to the half-smoked joint in the other hand.
“These Bourke Street capitalists think they can just mind their own business like every other commercial activity with law abiding patrons. These fascists think being the target of terrorists and thugs entitles them to expect Victoria Police to do their taxpayer-funded job and uphold the law so as to promote a safe, secure and orderly society. Well I say they should pay the bill because they’re racists, and I have to queue for a seat sometimes, just like the AFL Grand Final!”
Ms Neville’s Victoria Police recently sent an invoice to a private political function smaller than some large weddings held at the same venue which has plenty of parking behind an eight foot perimeter fence, weakly claiming regulations provided for billing such an event.
Organisers and participants of the publicly coordinated domestic terrorism (violence and threats intended to cause fear to promote a political agenda) outside the venue were not sent an invoice. One lawless thug out of several hundred was finally arrested when they assaulted police. The violent mob blocked a National Highway, hurled abuse and threats of violence at attendees, vandalised a bus and attempted to turn over another full of passengers – bearing absolutely no resemblance at all to the need for police at the AFL Grand Final.
Victorian Labor’s Lisa Neville hasn’t commented on the possibility of invoicing Bourke Street ‘commercial activities’ for police resources… yet. Speculation is mounting that an invoice may be sent after the looming election – timing is everything in politics.
Satire is a genre of literature in which follies, abuses and shortcomings are held up to ridicule with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement.
Dave Pellowe is a writer and speaker and blogs at PelloweTalk.com.
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