Baillieu 'sad' memorial to Jill removed
Premier Ted Baillieu says he's disappointed that a memorial erected where Jill Meagher's body was found has been removed.PT0M0S 620 349
Premier Ted Baillieu says he is disappointed that a stone memorial erected where Jill Meagher's body was found has been removed from the site north-west of Melbourne.
Melton City Council said it had taken the 50-kilogram granite slab from Black Hill Road in Gisborne South with the permission of Ms Meagher's family.
Stonemason Joe Trovato had laid the stone at the site in September in memory of the murdered Irish woman, whose body was found in a shallow grave beside the road on September 28.
Jill Meagher was abducted and killed in September.
The memorial carries the message: "In loving memory of Jill Meagher. September 2012. Loved by family, friends and many Australians whose hearts have been touched. Rest in Peace".
Mr Baillieu said he did not know the circumstances under which the memorial was removed, but said he felt disappointed.
"I feel very sad for all of those associated with Jill Meagher — friends, family, loved ones and indeed on a broader basis," Mr Baillieu told radio station 3AW.
"I don't know under what circumstances it has been removed. It was put there with love, affection and care, and I'm disappointed. If someone has indicated to the council they would rather it not be there, and that has come from family or friends, I don't know, but all I'd say is I'm disappointed."
Last month, the council said it was considering moving the floral tributes at the site in a compromise with locals who were upset about the ongoing attention and increased traffic along Black Hill Road.
The stone memorial will be sent to Ms Meagher's parents, who live in Perth.
Bruce Wood, who attends the site daily as its self-appointed guardian, said this week that he was struggling to understand the council's logic in removing the memorial.
"This was well off the roadside and obscured by two wattle trees. I'm shattered, disappointed, demoralised," Mr Wood said.
Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, of Coburg has been charged with Ms Meagher's rape and murder and is due to appear in court in January.