The draconian anti-protest Bill tabled today by Minister for Resources Paul Harriss is worse than previously thought, with provisions that would require, for example, the mandatory imprisonment of farmers locking their gates to prevent fracking on their own properties.
“This is radical, extremist legislation designed to attack freedom of speech and intimidate people out of peacefully protesting,” said Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim MP.
“The Bill prevents any act in any public place that promotes an opinion or a belief, if the act obstructs a vehicle even momentarily.”
“The definition of ‘business premises’ in the Bill is so broad that it includes agricultural land and vehicles such as taxis.”
“Protests such as those recently underway in other states where farmers are taking protest action to prevent fracking on their land will now result in mandatory gaol time for farmers if repeated in Tasmania.”
“The Bill goes far beyond the Liberal’s previous position. In its ideologically driven desire to pander to the timber industry the government has lifted a leaf straight out of Joh Bjelke Peterson’s playbook.”
“It will do nothing to stop protests, and its only material outcome will be to fill up our prisons with people who are unhappy with government policy,” Mr McKim said.