Vegan protester: Government job ‘pays for my activism’
A Gold Coast vegan activist who pleaded guilty to trespassing at an abattoir has said she is thankful to escape conviction because she needs her government job to fund her activism.
Angela Banovic, who is listed on Linkedin as a Queensland Government employee at the Department of Public Works, yesterday thanked her supporters in an online video.
In Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday she was fined $500 and asked to pay $180 in restitution to a Darling Downs abattoir which she chained herself to on April 8th.
A conviction was not recorded.
It was also revealed in court that she was a state government employee.
In a comment online last night Banovic told a supporter that no conviction will allow her retain her current job, which funds her activism.
"I hate having to give them $180 but at the end of the day I don't have a charge against my name and I can travel to Coffs for ETT and to Iceland and Faroes to fight for more animals. I need to be able to travel and I also need to have no convictions for my employment that pays for my activism," she said in a comment on her public Facebook profile.
In a Facebook live video made outside of Warwick Magistrates court the 37-year-old also told followers she was grateful for their support and had represented herself.
In the stream she read out her full statement made in court which included a request to keep her record clean and her deep passion for the rights of animals.
"I have dedicated and sacrificed so much of my life advocating and fighting for animal welfare," she said.
"I have never been charged with any offences, have been a law-abiding citizen my whole life and always sought police approval prior to any protest.
"I feel I acted as I did in sheer frustration, desperation.
"If I am charged and this goes on my record it would have immediate significant impact against my employment. I worked very hard in my career to get to the level I am at.
"I have also mentioned at this point it would have an impact on my travel on where I am able to go in the next couple of months."
Ms Banovic also said she hoped to draw attention to animal cruelty.
"I wanted to draw attention to the inherent cruelty, ask for transparency, when I saw footage inside this particular slaughterhouse it broke my heart," she said.
"The industry tries to paint a pretty picture that something human happened in this facilities, this doesn't happen, people just aren't paying attention and they don't want to see it."
The Bulletin last month revealed Ms Banovic had been fined for her involved at similar protests at Sea World last December.
She had set up a fundraising page at the time to help pay for the penalty.