Milo Yiannopoulos' Tour Promoter Won't Pay $50,000 Bill
The tour organiser for controversial alt-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos' 'Troll Academy' tour says he won't cover the cost for having extra police resources show up at the Melbourne event.
Hundreds of police officers showed up to the event after a large group of left and right-wing protesters caused a violent brawl out the front of the Melbourne Pavilion in Kensington.
Damien Costas, publisher for Penthouse Magazine and promoter for the speaking tour, has said that the claims from Police Minister Lisa Neville that his team would be billed $50,000 for the extra police presence was "political grandstanding".
"We held a perfectly legitimate event," said Mr Costas.
"The people that attended, 3000 of our people, we have three hours worth of footage where you actually see them lining up very peacefully.
"The people causing all the trouble and being violent were people not attending the event. If you want to take it further, sue me and I will call every single one of those 3000 people as witnesses."
Riot police were called to the help contain the brawl and were forced to use pepper spray on protesters, which included people from left-wing group Campaign Against Racism and Fascism and right-wing groups Reclaim Australia and The Freedom Party.
Violent scenes also broke out between police and protesters and Mr Yiannopoulos' Sydney event on Tuesday night.
Mr Costas said yesterday that he had not yet received the bill from Victoria Police and that he didn't believe that they could send him one as prior to the event there was no discussion of a user-pays system for event security.
"I'd like to know on what basis they can send [a bill]" said Mr Costa. "User pay was never mentioned".
However Ms Neville remains firm on the idea that event organisers will be hit with a hefty bill saying that it was common practice for large-scale events to pay if large numbers of police resources were required.
"They'll certainly be getting a bill," said Ms Neville.
"There were a lot of resources put in and I've had a lot of interesting tweets sent to me saying 'what a waste of police resources', but unfortunately in that situation, we've got two groups who pretty much set out to cause the harm that they did...try and cause violence and try and get on the TV so police are there to try and protect the general public."
Milo Yiannopoulos' entire visit to Australia has been surrounded by controversy, with the alt-right speaker not afraid to speak his mind about contentious topics.