“I understand that one of the two people charged regarding the incident involved the statue in Hyde Park has part-time employment with my office,” he said. “They were not engaged in employment at the time of the incident which occurred well outside of work hours.
“I will not be making any further comment on the matter as it is currently before the courts.”
Police will allege the women were found with a bag containing a number of spray cans following the incident, with the pair charged with destroying or damaging property.
They have both been refused bail. Police are continuing to conduct heavy patrols in the area.
It comes as Victorian police are also investigating the defacing of statues in Ballarat.
The statues of former Australian prime ministers Tony Abbott and John Howard were sprayed with red paint on Saturday morning.
They have since been covered and fenced off and assessed on Monday.
A Captain James Stirling statue in Perth, Western Australia, was on Friday also defaced and a 30-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage or destruction of property.
The statue’s neck and hands were painted red and an Aboriginal flag was painted over the inscription at the base.
Historical monuments around the world have been toppled over the past two weeks as Black Lives Matter protesters march through the streets to call out racism following the death of African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.
In Australia, people have defied public health warnings amid the COVID-19 pandemic and turned out to protest Indigenous deaths in custody and to rally in support of the BLM movement in Sydney, Perth, Darwin, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.