City of Cockburn councillor ‘ambushed’ by pro-Roe 8 supporters at funeral for late councillor Steve Portelli

Cockburn councillor Chontelle Sands leaving the late Steve Portelli's funeral was ambushed upon by pro-Roe 8 campaigners.
Cockburn councillor Chontelle Sands leaving the late Steve Portelli's funeral was ambushed upon by pro-Roe 8 campaigners.

A RECENTLY elected City of Cockburn councillor says she has become the target of social media bullying campaign instigated by pro-Roe 8 supporters Pro Roe 8 – S.O.S. – Build it.

Councillor Chontelle Sands, who was elected to represent the council’s Central ward, said she was approached at the funeral of former Cr Steve Portelli last Friday by protestors holding ‘build Roe 8’ placards.

Cr Sands said the online bullying began last year when she decided to run for council, but was horrified to see protestors of the campaign had taken their agenda to the late councillor’s funeral.

“I lent my support to Save Beeliar Wetlands and was opposed to Roe 8,” she said.

“But this was a State Election issue and local government had no bearing to it.

“Their behaviour has been disgraceful, disgusting and defamatory and it’s quite horrendous what we’ve had to go through.

“This is just a continuation of that.

“They are hiding behind their keyboards slaughtering me with no ramifications and no consequences.”

The photo and post on social media.

Cr Sands said while her former colleague Cr Portelli supported Roe 8, he championed many other community issues, something she believed many had forgotten.

“It surprised me they took this to Cr Portelli’s funeral; how disrespectful,” she said.

“Steve Portelli was a champion for so many things – including Neighbourhood Watch, safety in the community, schools – it’s absolutely distasteful.

“To have these immature people approach me at the conclusion of his funeral to take a selfie and post it all over social media is disgusting.”

Cr Sands said the harassment continued after funeral with someone placing a placard on a car in her street at 11.30pm on the same night.

The placard left on a car on Cr Sands’ street.

Cr Sands said she had contacted Cockburn Police and would be taking immediate action.

Steve Greenwood, the administrator of the Pro Roe 8 – S.O.S. – Build it Facebook group, referred the Gazette to a comment he had made on social media as a response to the story.

Mr Greenwood said the story was “disgusting and tasteless” and that the family had wanted the group there.

Community News has reached out to the Portelli family for comment.

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