Occupy Brisbane Correction of Media Reports (Musgrave Park Clean Up)

Subject: Press Release: Occupy Brisbane Correction of Media Reports (Musgrave Park Clean Up)

Press Release: Occupy Brisbane Correction of Media Reports (Musgrave Park Clean Up):

Reported yesterday in the media (MX, Wednesday 7 2011) are claims by the Deputy Mayor of Brisbane City Council Adrian Schrinner, that Occupy Brisbane left Musgrave Park in a “rancid mess”. Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner goes on to say “Let’s be clear – the only reason why council is having to clean up Musgrave Park is because Occupy Brisbane made a big mess and left it to ratepayers to deal with, just like they did in Post Office Square”. Schrinner also said “council officers …had to spend their day cleaning up the rancid mess Occupy Brisbane left”. These claims are categorically untrue.

At approximately 11.30am on Tuesday the 6th of December, an Occupy Brisbane clean up crew arrived at Musgrave Park to continue the clean up that had been underway since Monday morning. Onsite were council workers conducting a cleanup while tents remained erect and personal property still obviously present. The council had pre-emptively assumed that Occupy Brisbane had vacated the site when in fact we were still in the process of cleaning. As the following Facebook Status demonstrates, posted on Monday 5 December at 9.35pm, Occupy Brisbane had set a timetable for the site to be fully vacated and tidy by Wednesday the 7th: “We are aiming to have cleanup finalized by Wednesday. Liaise with Max or Robert.”

Upon the arrival of the Occupy Brisbane clean up crew, negotiations were conducted with the council crew to allow us to continue our clean up, including the retrieval of personal property, without council interference. The council crew offered to remove rubbish that we had ourselves collated the previous day. We accepted their offer, but were prepared to remove it ourselves and had informed the council crew of this fact. In hindsight we should have refused this offer, so that the removal of the rubbish could not be construed as council cleaning up Occupy Brisbane’s “rancid mess”.

The council crew informed us that we had until the next morning to remove all other property and any remaining rubbish from the site. We complied with this order, which was within our own stated schedule anyway, to the letter. Below you will find photos depicting the state of the Musgrave Park site after cleanup was completed by Occupy Brisbane at approximately 4pm Tuesday afternoon.

As a further note, the claims relating to Post Office Square are also demonstrably incorrect. There was no mess left at Post Office Square. All camp items were retrieved and rubbish disposed of by Occupy Brisbane supporters. ABC Journalists reported that the Post Office Square site was left clean and tidy. This was also shown through photographic evidence collected on the day.

The claims of a returfing bill of $30,000 for Post Office square seem far fetched: All that council appear to have done is to sow grass seeds and distribute a layer of soil to assist regrowth. There has been no returfing of Post Office Square. Occupy Brisbane offered this same service to Council for free, to be provided by professional landscapers who were prepared to donate their time and materials, but the offer was refused by Council.

Photos of the completed clean up of Musgrave Park site, at 6 December, 5:10pm, are attached.

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