Far right protesters storm Melbourne council meeting over Australia Day decision

Protesters from a far right group stormed an inner Melbourne council meeting after its decision to scrap Australia Day ceremonies.

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Seven men from the Party for Freedom group disrupted the City of Yarra council meeting in Richmond on Tuesday night, waving flags and chanting, Mayor Amanda Stone said.

“It was disruptive and it was disappointing … eventually they left after a few minutes and one even apologised for disrupting the meeting,” Ms Stone said.

“It was a bit strange to be honest,” she said.

There were concerns about violence because of the “unpredictable” nature of the protesters but everything resolved peacefully, the mayor said.

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Police were called and stayed at the hall for some time after the disruption but no arrests were made.

The council, in Melbourne’s inner north voted last month to move the traditional citizenship and citizen-of-the-year award ceremonies from January 26 to another date.

Instead a traditional smoking ceremony recognising the day as distressing for many indigenous people will be held.

It has also stopped referring to January 26 as Australia Day and was stripped of its ability to host any citizenship ceremonies by the federal government.

Neighbouring Darebin council also passed a motion to move citizenship ceremonies from January 26.

0:00 Federal MPs react to Australia Day change Share Federal MPs react to Australia Day change

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