By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Nine people have been arrested and two Greater Dandenong election candidates appear to have been fined at a ‘Sack Dan’ protest at Premier Daniel Andrews’s electorate office in Noble Park.
Yasmin Jugo and Brad Woodford say they were told by police that they will be mailed $1752 infringement notices for breaching the directives of the Chief Health Officer.
The pair of self-described independents say they will fight the fines in court.
Police officers issued at least 19 fines in response to the planned arrival of a Reignite Democracy Australia protest bus outside the office at noon on Tuesday 20 October.
The bus emblazoned with ‘Let Us Out’ and ‘#SackAndrews’ was diverted by police from the Mulgrave MP’s office – which was been attacked by vandals twice in the past three weeks.
Mr Jugo, who is standing for Noble Park Ward, was approached by police in his car in the Princes Highway shopping strip’s parking bay.
He says he’d arrived to buy tomato plants, for which he had a receipt. But police told him they didn’t believe him, he said.
“I got a fine for going shopping … I didn’t realise Daniel Andrews’ office was there as well.
“I was definitely not there for the bus.”
A video of Mr Jugo’s exchange with police was tweeted by former Liberal MP Inga Peulich – who Mr Jugo says he’s never met.
@VictoriaPolice issue a $5 k fine to local council candidate @cgd & resident YazJugo for sitting in his car within a short distance of his home! Are we now a police state??? #springst #auspol pic.twitter.com/e98ewr90pb
— Inga Peulich (@IngaPeulich) October 20, 2020
A voice of a female who appeared to shoot the video says: “They’re fining him.… he just literally rolled up. He lives in Dandenong North.”
At a point, she alerts a male “Brad” who wandered in front of the camera.
Mr Woodford, of Noble Park North Ward, says he was approached by police while walking about 700 metres from his home.
He was wearing a mask and alone when police asked him about his reasons for being there, he said.
Mr Woodford labelled the police resources, including an Air Wing unit hovering above, as “wasteful” and “absolutely appalling”.
“Other residents tell me there is another 50 or so police officers in the nearby area and patrolling the Prince Highway. It is way over the top.
“We live in a municipality which has had long ongoing issues with crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour and police seem to be overwhelmed in dealing with these issues.
“Yet Daniel Andrews can find 50 cops and put a helicopter in the air for the sake of a bus carrying a political slogan. Is this really what Victoria has become?”
Mr Woodford said the Government’s “beyond mindblowing” arrogance showed why voters should not vote for the ALP-aligned candidates.
“The ALP are more interested in shutting you up, destroying your jobs, decimating our local communities than they are in dealing with the real issues”.
A Victoria Police spokesperson said nine people were arrested for offences “stemming from breaching the directions of the Chief Health Officer”.
Nineteen infringement notices were issued for “breaches of the Chief Health Officer directions”.
“Investigations into the incident are ongoing and further infringement notices are expected,” the spokesperson said.
“Victoria Police would like to remind everyone of the continued responsibility to adhere to the Chief Health Officer direction.”