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Leaked DPIPWE Letter Confirms Anti-Protest Laws Designed to Crack Down on National Parks Protests

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Tags: National Parks, Parks, Anti-Protest Laws, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Cable Car

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Parks spokesperson

The draconian and highly political anti-protest laws - which the Liberals described as urgent a year and a half ago, then parked in the Legislative Council gathering dust ever since – will crack down on all forms of protest. The original laws were found unconstitutional by the High Court, prompting the amendments being debated today.
Leaked correspondence from February 2019 between then DPIPWE Secretary, John Whittington, to then Justice Secretary, Kathrine Morgan-Wicks makes clear the startling overreach behind these laws.

When the Greens asked the Premier about it in Parliament today, he smirked and dismissed the question.
The then DPIPWE Secretary was seeking legal advice on the powers to manage protestors on land associated with leases and licences, on all reserve classes including Wellington Park.  It is clear from this correspondence agencies acknowledge the deeply felt community anger at the Liberals’ Expressions of Interest process. 
Dr Whittington also recommended the ‘tourism’ industry be included in the definition of a business premises to protect industries operating on reserved land - on public land. 
The Gutwein Government wants to stop Tasmanians from standing up for their protected areas - as they launch an unprecedented assault on them.  
The Liberals’ anti-protest laws will also stop Aboriginal Tasmanians from defending the wilderness their people shaped and nurtured for 50 000 years.  It is unforgivable.