Chapman ends Fortuna hunger strike

UPDATE: 

CITY of Greater Bendigo councillor Elise Chapman has ended her controversial hunger strike.

The Lockwood Ward councillor began fasting on Monday afternoon in a bid to save historic Fortuna Villa and claimed the hunger strike was the only way she could get the media attention the property's cause deserved.

Cr Chapman's actions received national media coverage and she confirmed she decided to call it quits after appearing on Sunrise this morning.

Her first meal in three days was a bowl of Nutri-grain.

"I just thought it was the right time to end it," she said.

"I've achieved what I wanted to achieve and wanted to bow out gracefully so that negotiations can begin and that Premier Denis Napthine doesn't feel blackmailed or forced.

"I have a huge amount of respect for the Premier."

Premier Napthine yesterday said Cr Chapman’s hunger strike was the wrong way to get results from the government.

Cr Chapman said a meeting with the Premier had not yet been confirmed but she believed her work was done.

"I don't want to be at the meeting," she said.

"That's not my role.

"My role was to try and get the media exposure for Fortuna so that the powers that be will listen.

"And it's worked.

"People like Julia Gillard and the premier and now aware what's going on.

"My job is done."

- Hannah Knight

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Related coverage

Editorial: Does public really want to save Fortuna?

Fortuna Villa sale to go ahead

Chapman ‘sets back progress’

Former councillors see red

Take a virtual tour of Fortuna Villa

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Earlier: 

COUNCILLOR Elise Chapman says her hunger strike may be over today. 

Cr Chapman has made headlines around the country for her actions, which she said involved eating only vitamin tablets and drinking cups of tea as a protest against the state government. 

She did not return calls to the Bendigo Advertiser yesterday, but told 3AW presenter Neil Mitchell that she didn’t think Premier Denis Napthine would let her starve to death.  “Not to death, no,” she told Mr Mitchell when asked how far she would continue. 

“It’s not worth dying for. 

“At the end of the day I shouldn’t have to go to these lengths to focus this attention on this vitally important issue. 

“I take it very seriously. 

“I’ve never done a hunger strike before, I’m not a big person, I don’t want to inflict pain on myself.

“But we are only nine days away from the auction; we’re nine days out of losing the history of this entire city.”

Mr Mitchell asked if the tactic was “a bit extreme” and questioned whether it was attempted intimidation of a politician. 

“I’m asking for him to have a meeting and discuss it,” Cr Chapman said. 

“This isn’t about blackmail, this is about getting the government to actually listen.

“Like, seriously, this is a once in a lifetime property, you’ve just got no idea of the history and what it means to Bendigo.”

Cr Chapman said on Twitter that she hoped the hunger strike would be over today and said she didn’t mean to upset or offend anyone. 

She said the end was in sight and said she was “okay, hungry, tired, busy, but okay”. 

“I’ve had loads of support and I thank everyone that has helped,” she posted. 

“The end’s in sight.”

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