A Queensland cafe has been left reeling after it received “diabolical” abuse from One Nation supporters after a press conference last Friday.
The Courier Mail reports One Nation state leader Steve Dickson, party leader Pauline Hanson and Nicklin candidate Steven Ford gathered for a press conference outside the Endless Time cafe in Nambour, Queensland. The cafe is located in a shopping complex.
After answering questions from journalists, the three were instructed to clear out by management of the C-Square shopping complex, being told, “you don’t have permission to be here”.
“We have tenants who won’t appreciate this is happening here. You were told you didn’t have permission to come,” C-Square management said.
— Kerrin Binnie (@kerrinbinnie) February 17, 2017
However, One Nation supporters placed the blame on the cafe for asking the politicians to leave. Owners Paul and Jean Smart told The Courier Mail they had received constant abuse over the weekend following the incident, via their Facebook page and on voicemail.
“We had nothing to do with it. We were just in the background,” Smart told The Courier Mail.
“We’re a small business trying to make a living.”
Multiple one-star reviews were left on the cafe’s Facebook page, many of them calling for the business to be boycotted.
“So, you guys can all go to hell and good luck with it all up there” one voicemail said.
In a post on the cafe’s Facebook page, the owners explained their position and highlighted they were not aligned with any political party.
“We are not politically aligned with any party or person. We welcome all our customers what ever a persons religion, political belief, colour, nationality ethnic group or age and social standing,” the post reads.
“We believe in providing great customer service, good value food and service with a smile. We like seeing you all go away happy.”
Dickson visited the cafe yesterday and posted about his visit on Facebook in order to extend an olive branch, encouraging people to visit the cafe.
In a statement on Facebook, C-Square apologised for the way the incident was handled, but made clear its policy on political events.
“We had earlier advised them that it was not possible for political events to be held in the C-Square precinct. Unfortunately they continued and so we politely asked them to relocate their press conference to a public area,” the post reads.
“We do not give permission for specifically political events, such as press conferences or political information booths, as our policy is to remain strictly neutral on these things.”