VCAT outs vocal objector to mosque

Chris Johnston

A Bendigo businesswoman behind a vehement anti-mosque Facebook page has lost a tribunal bid to stay anonymous.

In a tearful and rambling appearance at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Monika Evers, a co-administrator of the Stop The Mosque in Bendigo page, claimed she had been “vilified” online by supporters of the mosque proposal, feared for her safety and wanted her name kept out of the media.

But tribunal deputy president Mark Dwyer said there was “insufficient evidence” to support her claim of being threatened, and that Ms Evers’s “perception” of biased, pro-mosque media reporting was not grounds to have her name suppressed.

After his decision, Ms Evers, a business consultant, withdrew her planning objection to the mosque. Her advocate, Andrew Moyle, told the tribunal: “She does not think she can carry through with this. To her the fears are real.”

Other objectors to the two-level, $3 million mosque will tell the tribunal the planning application, passed by a majority of Bendigo councillors last month, breaches parking, noise and traffic regulations. Plans include a café and sports hall.