Councillor investigated over protest meetings

 

BRISBANE'S only Greens councillor is being investigated by the Council's Conduct Review Panel over a misconduct complaint against him alleging he facilitated climate change protest meetings.

Gabba Ward councillor Jonathan Sri said the complaint alleges he allowed climate protest group members of Extinction Rebellion to confer unlawful protesting and law enforcement revolt in his office, which he denies amounts to misconduct.

Councillor Jonathan Sri says Brisbane City Council are suppressing peaceful protest. Picture: AAP/Image Sarah Marshall
Councillor Jonathan Sri says Brisbane City Council are suppressing peaceful protest. Picture: AAP/Image Sarah Marshall

The investigation comes after Brisbane City Council passed a motion in October banning Extinction Rebellion from using council facilities including some parks, offices and a part of King George Square, for meetings, in a move meant to crack down on the ability of the group to co-ordinate disruptive protests.

The motion saw Extinction Rebellion defined as a group that advocates for illegal activities. Under longtime council guidelines, meetings that advocate for law-breaking are not allowed on BCC property.

Cr Sri said the complaint showed the "poor process" of government and was "a deeply concerning attack on freedom of political assembly".

"There's a lack of natural justice … I want to know why they don't allow me to have legal representation, hear all the evidence made against me," Cr Sri told The Courier-Mail.

"Instead of referring to public concerns … it shows the council and State Government are focusing on suppressing peaceful protest".

Brisbane City Council declined to comment when contacted by The Courier-Mail.



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