AFTER more than 20 months of protest the Portland tent embassy has been dismantled.
Glenelg Shire Council yesterday morning restored Portland’s Market Square for public use, removing some caravans and other items from the area.
A tent embassy had been erected at the site since February 2012, with indigenous organisers vowing to stay until the Native Title Act was upheld and social service inequalities were addressed.
Six tribes from the Portland and Heywood region arranged the protest to lobby for land rights, while also claiming other clans were receiving preferential treatment.
Glenelg Shire mayor Karen Stephens said the council had acted lawfully to restore Market Square for public use.
She said the site had not been occupied for some time, although caravans and other equipment and personal goods had been left at the site.
“Council is the appointed committee of management for Market Square and has continued to work with state agencies and local Aboriginal organisations to ensure there is a clear way forward on this matter,” Cr Stephens said.
“As soon as that position became clear, council has taken immediate and decisive action to restore Market Square for general public use.”
Cr Stephens said a council team would continue to clean up the site until it was fully presentable and able to be enjoyed by all of the community.