Florence's history of civil disobedience

FLORENCE Vorhauer’s battle with the then Tamworth City Council played out over a number of years, culminating in a guilty verdict in 2003 for throwing Molotov cocktails at council staff and police and slashing two officers during an attempt to enforce Land and Environment Court orders.

On July 14, 1999, the council, armed with the orders, arrived at Mrs Vorhauer’s Wilburtree St premises to remove hundreds of ducks and hens from the yard.

During the 2003 court case, the court heard the council had asked for a police presence in case of “a breach of the peace” and an ambulance was also on standby.

Believing she had the right to refuse council entry, Mrs Vorhauer jabbed a crowbar through the fence when police tried to remove sheets of corrugated iron to gain entry.

Told she was under arrest, the court heard she lit two of the cocktails and threw them over the fence at authorities.

When police then forced their way in, Mrs Vorhauer lashed out with a Stanley knife, slashing one of the officers across the arm, severing a tendon and nerve.

Another officer was also injured.

She was found guilty of the charges in June 2003 and sentenced to a mininum four years’ jail in December 2003.

Council meanwhile had successfully sued for years of unpaid rates and sold the Wilburtree St property at auction in May 2002.

A 2004 bid by Mrs Vorhauer to take the council to the Supreme Court of NSW was unsuccessful.

In the early ’90s, she took Walcha Shire Council to court for selling two of her properties in an attempt to recover unpaid rates.

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