The Age (Australia), Mar. 8, 2003
By Farrah Tomazin
Spiritual group Falun Dafa has failed to overturn a Melbourne City Council decision banning members from taking part in Monday’s Moomba Parade.
The council recently rejected an application by the group to take part in the event, citing concerns over its “strong political associations”.
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a spiritual practice banned by the Chinese Government in 1999. The group yesterday sought an injunction at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to allow them to take part in the parade. Presiding judge John Bowman was told that Falun Dafa had initially been given permission to attend the event, and had already spent $10,000 on costumes, dancers and a lotus flower float. The group said it had never planned to display or disseminate any political material at the parade.
But Melbourne City Council argued that it had the right to exclude volunteers from taking part.