Victorian ministers jostled as police clash with East West Link protesters

Guardian: Victorian ministers jostled as police clash with East West Link protesters. Friday 29 August 2014

Transport and health ministers among those jostled as police break line of protesters outside Liberal party fundraiser

Denis Napthine and Tony Abbott announcing the $1.5bn boost for stage two of the East West link: Napthine dodged the protesters by coming in through a side entrance. Photograph: Julian Smith/AAP

Victorian cabinet ministers have been jostled as police clashed with protesters who tried to block a Liberal party fundraiser.

About 50 East West Link opponents were outnumbered by police, but scuffles broke out as the protesters tried to stop people entering the fundraiser at the Regent Theatre Plaza on Thursday, jostling Victorian cabinet ministers.

A 24-year-old Northcote woman, a Coburg man, 23, and a Lower Templestowe man, 24, were interviewed in relation to assaulting police, a Victoria Police spokeswoman said on Friday. The trio are expected to be charged on summons, she said.

Transport minister Terry Mulder and health minister David Davis were among those who were jostled as police broke the line of protesters to allow the ministers to enter. The two-hour protest ended when demonstrators were told the premier, Denis Napthine, was already inside.

State Liberal MP Brad Battin took to Twitter to vent his anger.

“Disgraceful behaviour #EWLink protesters who thought it ok to push my wife. Shame, you are free to protest as I am free to support the Link,” he wrote.

Health minister Davis condemned the protesters.

“This was a very nasty, violent group of people prepared to push and jostle and threaten people, including elderly people and our hardworking police and it’s simply unacceptable,” he told Fairfax Radio.

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