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Collision Course for High Court

25 May 2016

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader    

Tasmania’s draconian Anti Protest Law is heading for a High Court challenge after the Government voted against a Greens bill to repeal the legislation. 

There will be legal manoeuvres in coming weeks and months by the government to avoid a full hearing in the High Court.

The Liberals will try every trick in the book to avoid having this sham law tested but we hope and are advised they will most likely fail and that Tasmanians concerned about this law will have their day in court.

The Government achieved a terrible trifecta with this law. It politicises the police, is overly heavy handed and unnecessarily complex.  

It is clear the legislation was designed with the quite simple purpose of stifling dissent and demonising environmentalists, but it potentially captures anyone standing up for their rights in Tasmania. 

Tasmania would be better off without this law and whether it is repealed by Parliament or invalidated by the High Court does not matter, the outcome will be the same.

When the law is eventually consigned to the dustbin of legal history, and it will be, Tasmania will return to applying conventional laws of trespass and public nuisance which regulate protest activity in a way that raise no constitutional issues and are well understood and accepted.

Consistent with their longstanding position against this draconian law, Labor supported the Greens' Repeal Bill.

 

** Workplace (Protection from Protesters) Repeal Bill 2016 - Second Reading Speech is attached.