Wild scenes as wild horse protest gets violent
TOWNSVILLE City Council have claimed a staff member has been assaulted after a group of '20-30 protesters' interrupted a feral animal cull in Bluewater this afternoon.
Townsville City Council Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Margie Ryder has condemned the behaviour of residents involved in the alleged assault of council staff.
The council claims members of the public abused and assaulted staff who were called to a property at the request of the owner to assist with potentially dangerous wild horses.
"I am absolutely disgusted that our staff members, who were called by the landowner and were just doing their jobs, were assaulted and threatened by residents who were trespassing on the land," Cr Ryder said.
"This is part of a process that came about at the recommendation of a coroner's report into road deaths in the area.
"Our staff come to work to do their job for the benefit and safety of the community and to have them put in danger like this is not acceptable.
"Council will be pressing charges and has raised the matter with the police."
Cr Ryder said Council had been called by a landowner in Bluewater to attend his property after he trapped feral horses that had been wandering in the area.
"Council is legislated under the Queensland Biosecurity Act 2014 to have a local Biosecurity Plan that manages invasive species in Townsville and feral horses are a critical priority in that plan," she said.
"The actions of these residents who have released the feral horses near the highway have not only seen our staff assaulted but has now put residents' lives at risk from horses that may wander onto the road.
"In addition to being a risk to residents travelling along the highway, the feral horses also cause environmental harm and significant damage to our natural habitats.
"We appreciate they are beautiful creatures but at the end of the day our priority is the safety of our community and our staff."
A spokeswoman for the Queensland Police Service said they were called to an incident in Bluewater which involved '20-30 protesters'.
It's believed one council staff member was punched and another was threatened to be run over by a car.
When the police attended the scene the members of the community were gone.
Originally published as WILD SCENES: Council staff punched, threatened to be runover