MEDIA RELEASE

3 September 2020

 

This abhorrent arrest is what I tried so hard to stop

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has pointed to the arrest of pregnant Ballarat mum Zoe Buhler as a reason why he was so opposed to the Victorian Government’s emergency powers extension.

A spine-chilling video released yesterday shows police entering Ms Buhler’s home and handcuffing her in front of her children and husband, all because of an anti-lockdown Facebook post.

The woman pleads tearfully that she has an ultrasound appointment, but the police continue their arrest and announce that they will be confiscating all computers and mobile devices.

“Like many Victorians, this arrest has thoroughly disgusted me and demonstrates why I was so ferociously opposed to the extension of emergency powers,” Mr Quilty said.

“This is perhaps one of the most extreme examples of police heavy-handedness I have seen to date, although social media is giving us plenty of interactions with police to choose from.

“All Ms Buhler was doing was using free speech to promote a ‘Freedom Day Ballarat’ protest, which police said was ‘incitement’.

“The emergency government powers outlaw what would ordinarily be thoroughly permissible in a free society.

“That freedom is now even further from our grasp.”

Mr Quilty pointed out that Victorians now face another six months of this oppression if the emergency powers extension passes through the Lower House today.

“Given the Government majority in the Legislative Assembly, we can all expect half a year more of this sort of oppression from people in uniform,” Mr Quilty said.

“This apparent ‘incitement’ could have been dealt with in a much more delicate and considerate manner – simply asking Ms Buhler to take the post down would’ve been sufficient.

“But it seems the police were determined to send some sort of message, that any slight infractions will be stamped on immediately, and stamped on hard.

“Well I’m sorry, but stamping hard on a pregnant mum is going to send the opposite message – anybody with a sense of decency who saw the arrest video will be outraged and determined to push back.

“Dan Andrews needs to learn that oppression will always lead to rebellion. History has shown that, time and time again.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819