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Gutwein Government Anti-Protest Laws Target Tens of Thousands of Tasmanians

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 16 September 2021

Tags: Anti-Protest Laws, Freedom of Speech, Climate Change, kunanyi/Mt Wellington, Parks EOIs, Lake Malbena, Fish Farms, Cambria Green, Rosny Hill

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

In its relentless attack on the rights of civil society to defend the natural environment, the Gutwein Government is set to deliver new anti-protest laws that specifically target people protesting against Liberal donors.

Clearly, they want to try to arrest their way out of a climate and biodiversity crisis, and allow corporations to plunder and profit without challenge, even if what they are doing is unlawful.

The amendments to the unconstitutional Workplace (Protection From Protesters) Act 2014 remove the rights of tens of thousands of Tasmanians to defend the natural environment.

The proposed amendments will target Tasmanian anglers and bushwalkers, who will defend public protected areas from private development; the thousands of southern Tasmanians who will defend kunanyi from a cable car; coastal communities standing against fish farm expansion; young Tasmanians defending forest carbon stores and striking for climate action; north-west coasters defending Robbins Island and its incredible bird life from a misplaced and massive wind farm proposal; east-coasters opposed to the Cambria Green development; and, eastern shore residents opposed to the privatisation of Rosny Hill.

The Premier’s own Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council says we have to look after the environment better, so why is his government targeting civil society seeking to do just that, while giving a free pass to corporate plunder, and groups who might protest outside a hospital, day centre, charity or school – or a business sector which has not been generous enough in their donations to the Liberal Party? 

These amendments will not pass if Labor holds true to its long-held principle of defending the right to protest and free speech.

Tens of thousands of Tasmanians will be looking to them to do the right thing.