You are here

Greens Welcome Defeat of Draconian Anti-Protest Laws

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 25 March 2021

Tags: Anti-Protest Laws, Freedom of Speech, Protest, Forests, National Parks, Animal Welfare, Workers Rights

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

The right to peaceful protest remains protected in Tasmania, following defeat of the Liberals’ draconian, unconstitutional anti-protest amendment Bill in the Legislative Council this afternoon.

This is a win for democracy and free speech.  

It’s a win for workers and the unions that represent them.  It’s a win for young people striking for a safe climate and conservationists of all ages who stand up for forest protection.

It’s a win for wilderness lovers who’ll blockade Halls Island in the TWWHA if the Lake Malbena heli-tourism project is approved. It’s a win for animal welfare activists driven to give voice to the voiceless.

A majority in the Legislative Council saw this legislation for what it is - highly political and unconstitutional.

The Liberals’ first dodgy piece of legislation was pushed through Tasmania’s Parliament shortly after they came to office. 

The High Court gave the original Workplace (Protection from Protestors) Act 2014 the short shrift it deserved, so the Liberals cobbled together some amendments in 2019 which they described as ‘urgent’ and jammed through the House of Assembly with Madeleine Ogilvie’s vote, then left gathering dust in the Upper House until closer to election day. 

The Greens have a Workplace (Protection from Protesters) Repeal Bill already tabled in Parliament. We'll be moving to purge this unconstitutional law from Tasmania statutes as soon as we can.

Today’s vote is an affirmation by the MLCs of Tasmanians’ right to peaceful protest – one that's enshrined in the Australian Constitution. We are celebrating, along with every Tasmanian who has ever attended a rally, protest or a march.