News ‘Putting the sprinklers on’: Quirky council strategy for climate change protesters

‘Putting the sprinklers on’: Quirky council strategy for climate change protesters

Protesters laying down on a busy Melbourne bridge during a recent rally. Photo: AAP
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Victoria Police have issued a warning to climate change protesters if they try to camp in an inner Melbourne park any time this week – they’ll be getting a very wet reception.

Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said about 2000 police will keep an eye on climate protests planned throughout this week in the city amid reports some protesters might try to camp overnight at Carlton Gardens, north of the CBD.

But the City of Melbourne will not allow overnight camping.

“If camping occurs, we will support City of Melbourne by-laws officers in having those camping sites taken down and moving (on) individuals,” Assistant Commissioner Cornelius told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Monday afternoon.

“The City of Melbourne have told me they’re putting the sprinklers on … people will find themselves getting very wet.

“They’re not like water cannon but grass and our parks and gardens can always do with a bit of water.”

Following arrests at a CBD protest on Friday, there was another environment rally on Monday morning at the corner of Bourke and Spring streets.

Mr Cornelius said the protesters had health department approval but noted the police resources being diverted to the events.

“It is a huge opportunity cost for community safety,” he said.

Opposition police spokesman David Southwick said officers were being taken off routine duties to “babysit” protesters.

“Why is it that we can have protesters effectively take over our city, whereas we can’t have an Anzac Day parade,” he told reporters on Monday.

“It just does not make sense.”

-with AAP