Kontra · @Kontra108

3rd Oct 2013 from TwitLonger

For those without facebook and dont follow " North Terrace Melbourne" page. Important letter to the club. Please share

Following our meeting with representatives of Melbourne Victory Football Club last week (25.09.2013), the North Terrace Collective was advised to submit our proposal in writing, where it would then be considered by the club.

In the interests of remaining open and transparent, we have decided to publicise our letter to the club. The letter was sent on Monday 30 September.

A meeting took place between representatives of the NTC, MVFC and BWB this evening. The outcome of this meeting will be revealed on the North Terrace Melbourne page tomorrow. Thank you.

The following is the contents of the letter:


"This letter is written in response to your request that our concerns regarding Melbourne Victory Football Club’s (MVFC) recent policy changes for the North Terrace be placed in writing. We object to these three notable changes in policy (the introduction of scanners and tarps, and the banning of crew banners) under four basic principles: simple logistics, operational health and safety, collective punishment, and freedom of association.

Freedom of association is defined by the Attorney-General’s Department of Australia in saying, ‘the right to freedom of association protects the right to form and join associations to pursue common goals.’ The formation of separate groups within the North Terrace has occurred over time naturally along these lines. What was once known simply as the North Terrace or the Blue and White Brigade has over time become a collection of smaller groups with shared interests and close friendships, all of which are equally important to the makeup and culture of the North Terrace. We reject the suggestion that different group banners somehow display a lack of unity within the North Terrace. The North Terrace Collective (NTC) is in and of itself a great example of the sense of unity shared between most North Terrace groups and independents.

Furthermore to that, there is an obvious double standard at play here when, in meetings with the active groups of the South End, such as Dads Army and the Southern Death Crew, a completely different attitude towards banners is displayed. To quote the minutes of a meeting between South End representatives and Monica, ‘Club will request space in the front and back of the bay for groups wishing to display banners of support'.

The general principle of collective punishment is outlawed under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and is widely considered to be a violation of both human rights and natural justice. The restrictive policies put forward by MVFC to limit the size and restrict movement within the North Terrace can be seen as nothing else but subjecting the innocent majority to suffer as the result of the actions of the guilty few. Such repressive punishment stands against the values of a democratic and free society.

The logistical issues posed by the implementation of a scan in and out system at the two points of entrance for the North Terrace, accompanied by the further restrictions placed on movement by the presence of surrounding tarps are both obvious and plentiful. Queues to get into the newly designated North Terrace area right before games will be painfully long, resulting in many people missing the start of games. This problem will only be exacerbated at the halftime break, as hundreds of people attempt to exit the area via only two exits at once. Delays created by this system will mean large numbers of fans will be missing significant parts of the games they have paid to view on a weekly basis.

Compounding the above problem is the obvious operational health and safety concerns this new system presents, as outlined in the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2004, Section 23, Subsection 1, ‘An employer must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons other than employees of the employer are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the undertaking of the employer’ As football fans, we are uniquely attuned to the potential dangers poorly designed or managed stadiums can be to us as a group. The move from no-seat terraces to modern, all-seater stadiums, was intended to facilitate a safer environment for people to support their teams in. Sadly, this plan reverses much of that progress by reverting to archaic and universally criticised practice of caging football fans into small and restrictive areas. While the scanning system greatly increases the possibility of a potential crush of fans, either trying to move in or out of the terrace area due to an unforeseen incident, the presence of the tarps restricting an additional point of exit from the terrace area enhances that risk exponentially. A problem that could have been solved simply by fans spilling into the surrounding bays has the potential to become a very large crush as fans push against each other with nowhere else to move.

In addition to that, we must be realistic about the potential scenarios we may find ourselves in throughout the course of the season. Police intervention and ignition of flares are unwanted realities of life that both the club and the NTC have to deal with, and historical evidence tells us that it is unlikely no incidents of the sort will occur for the entirety of the season. While we in no way encourage such behaviour, the health risk to spectators both inside and outside the North Terrace area if a flare is to be ignited is greatly increased by the presence of the tarps, which are both restrictive to movement and, presumably, highly flammable. The same potential issue arises if we have an unfortunate situation, such as we did last season, where VicPol feel the need to use coercion in the form of physical force or pepper spray. As we saw when this occurred last season, the natural instinct for most people in the area is to remove themselves from the general vicinity of the incident for health precautions. The positioning of the tarps blocking off all possible avenues of exit other than those at the entrance/exits to two aisles substantially increases the likelihood of injury in such an unwanted scenario.

With all this taken into consideration, we feel that it would be a dereliction of duty of care in our roles as leaders of the North Terrace to advise our members to enter such a potentially dangerous area where concerns about their health and safety are deemed irrelevant and they have their basic rights as afforded by the Australian Government stripped from them upon entry. If all three of the aforementioned sanctions are not removed prior to the 12th of October, 2013, the NTC and all affiliated groups and independents will be withdrawing active support from the designated North Terrace Home End area and we will be advising all other North Terrace members to do the same.

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