The Resources Minister, Paul Harriss, must drop his arrogant blustering and withdraw his undemocratic Workplaces (Protection from Protestors) Bill 2014 in light of the UN Human Rights Commission’s damning critique, Greens leader and Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.
“It is patronising and churlish in the extreme for the Minister to rebuke the legal experts of the UN HCR for not having a briefing, when these legal experts’ decision was based on correspondence from Community Legal Centres Tasmania which contained a copy of the actual Bill. If non-legally trained MPs are expected to be able to read Bills, then it is safe to assume legal experts can as well,” Mr Booth said.
“For heavens sake. Given this is the government which refuses to even say whether they have received their own legal advice or not, they can hardly be surprised when other legal experts state their opinion.”
“Minister Harriss again refused to confirm or deny the presence of government legal advice during Budget Estimates Committee hearings today.”
“The Cabinet does not contain an international human rights legal expert, the last we saw, so it is now incumbent on them, in the apparent absence of any legal advice of their own, to treat with respect the UN HCR findings.”
“Minister Harriss now should do the responsible and adult thing, and withdraw this fundamentally flawed and undemocratic Bill from the Parliament, as to not do so risks bringing Australia and Tasmania into international disrepute,” Mr Booth said.