Small businesses in regional Victoria are furious after potentially violent protesters have forced a local food and wine festival to be abandoned.
The Bendigo Heritage Uncorked festival has been cancelled because police could not guarantee the safety of attendees due to an anti-mosque protest also planned for the weekend.
Wes Vine, the vice-president of the Bendigo Winegrowers Association, told The Australianhe is disappointed local businesses will miss out from the benefits the event brings to the town in terms of tourism.
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“It’s one of those situations where public liability dictates that we can’t afford to take the risk,” Vine said.
“We’re devastated, because it takes us nine months to organise… It’s a disgrace that certain people in Bendigo have got militant organisations from out of town involved.”
More than 77,000 Australian Volkswagens affecting by emissions scandal
More than 77,000 Australian Volkswagen vehicles are affected by the emissions scandal engulfing the car maker, according to Drive.
The vehicles fitted with the software to cheat emissions tests include models with 1.6 and two litre engines.
John White, managing director for Volkswagen Group Australia, said in a statement the company is taking the emissions scandal very seriously and is continuing to gather “all the facts” from head office.
“We understand the disappointment and frustration felt by our customers, dealers and partners in Australia and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause,” White said.
“We are doing everything possible to fix the problem and will be making further announcements in the near future. It is important for customers to note that all affected vehicles remain technically safe and driveable and that we will contact them in time to advise that the next steps are.”
Angry Australian customers have since flocked to Volkswagen Australia’s Facebook page to voice their frustration.
“I’ve just discovered my 2012 Golf diesel is one of those affected,” one person wrote.
“I intend to sue Volkswagen for compensation when the time is right – I won’t be able to sell my vehicle for what it’s truly worth now thanks to this stuff up. I won’t ever buy a Volkswagen again. Very disappointing.”
Shares up on open
Aussie shares have nudged higher this morning off the back of positive gains on Wall Street overnight.
Scott Schuberg, chief executive of Rivkin Securities, said investors should be confident about the day ahead.
“The mood among Australian investors should remain buoyant today as the rising tide of global equity markets lifts us out of and away from vulnerable key ASX 200 levels,” Schuberg said.
The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 47 points, rising 0.9% to 5244.9 points at 11:49am AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed 122.10 points higher, up 0.73% to 16,912.29 points.