Popular Australian children’s entertainers The Wiggles have used their music to slam a local councilor to stop homeless people gathering at a bandstand.
The city of Bunbury in Western Australia is playing the classic Hot Potato 24-7 on the open-air stage of the Graham Bricknell Memorial Music Shell in a desperate attempt to drive homeless people out of the area.
In recent years, the stage has become a refuge for residents living on the streets.
The Wiggles have asked the local council to stop using their music for this purpose.
A spokesman for the group said they were “deeply disappointed” to hear how their song, intended to bring joy to children and families, was being used.
The Wiggles have condemned Bunbury City Council’s decision to use their famous song “Hot Potato” to scare homeless people away from a bandstand
Shelter WA chief executive Kath Snell described the City of Bunbury’s actions as “abhorrently cruel” and called on the council to consider alternative solutions.
The council defended the use of the song, claiming it was common practice and a passive way of driving people out of the area.
People are moved as the council said anti-social behavior had increased at the stand.
Bunbury Mayor Jaysen Miguel said there had been an increase in reports of anti-social behavior and damage to the stage and the surrounding area as more people set up camp on the site.
“Graham Bricknell Memorial Music Shell is a community space that people should safely visit and meet,” he said WA today.
“As the City continues to work with police and appropriate agencies on the broader issue of homelessness, we also have a responsibility to provide a safe, healthy and connected community for all of our residents.”
The council plays the famous tune at the Graham Bricknell Memorial Music Shell (pictured) to drive away homeless people
Cr Miguel said the music had been playing in the hall for “more than six months without incident” but reports said someone had broken into the bandstand’s storage area and “turned the volume of the music really loud”.
“The city has since remedied this and brought the music back to an acceptable level,” he added.
An advocacy group is expected to approach the City of Bunbury to suggest other ways to tackle homelessness
For the same reason, the council came under fire in 2016 over the late Peter Allen’s 1976 hit “I Go to Rio.”
Bunbury Labor MP Don Punch criticized the decision at the time, saying it was not the right solution to solve the homelessness problem.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the City of Bunbury and The Wiggles for comment.
Bunbury Mayor Jaysen Miguel (pictured) defended the use of the song, saying anti-social behavior and damage had increased at the site