A woman has been charged for allegedly pushing a cream-covered crepe into the face of the Northern Territory’s chief minister at a popular Darwin market.
Labor Minister Natasha Fyles, 45 was struck with the pie around 11.40 a.m. on Sept. 24 at the Nightcliff Markets, near the chief minister's electorate office.
Police confirmed that a 56-year-old woman faces charges of aggravated assault over the cream pastry attack.
A witness described the incident as unprovoked, with Ms. Fyles reportedly smiling just before the attack.
"The female creamed her with a pancake with all the cream. It was like something out of a slapstick movie where they’d cream pie them," the witness told NT News.
"The chief minister was very shocked and quite taken aback."
The chief minister did not appear to be in any danger and even pulled out her phone to film and photograph the incident.
A few people who were present showed support for Ms Fyles and condemned the attacker, who had claimed the chief minister's policies had prevented her husband from having a heart operation.
Nightcliff Markets manager Ross Dudgeon who has been running the market for two decades also denounced the attack.
"It’s always been a relaxed community market. There’s a difference between protesting peacefully and being obnoxious and violent," he said.
Ms. Fyles was attending a 15th-anniversary celebration of the Bendigo Bank branch in Nightcliff that morning, and the incident happened shortly after she walked out from the bank.
"Natasha is always here every Sunday, grabs a smoothie and she should never be exposed to that sort of aggression and violence," Mr. Dudgeon added.
Ms. Fyles later addressed the incident saying violence is never acceptable and police were investigating.
"Here in the Territory, members of Parliament from both sides of the political spectrum and Independants, we make ourselves available, we love the role in the Territory and we are out and about, and we are a part of that community," the chief minister told reporters on Sept. 25.
Anti-Fracking ProtestsThe incident follows a previous encounter in May when anti-fracking protesters confronted the chief minister during a 25-kilometre (15.5 mile) race at the same market.
Central Australian Frack Free Alliance protesters met her midway through the race and at the end, yelling "Don’t run away from fracking" and "Don’t frack the outback."
In May, the Northern Territory government granted exclusive rights to two companies for fracking from a giant 170-hectare gas field in Beetaloo Basin.
Protesters have a number of grievances with this including that the government misled Territorians on whether traditional owners and rural residents have a say on fracking, greenhouse gas emissions, and the implementation of water management plans.
The police are seeking witnesses to further investigate the assault. The attacker has been granted bail and is scheduled to appear in a Darwin Local court on Oct. 10.