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Clarence Council By-Laws

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Tags: Clarence

Ms O'CONNOR (Denison - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I will not be reflecting on the vote of the House just now on the Greens disallowance motion but I will be reading into Hansard the by-law of the Clarence City Council from 2007 and why it is a concern of people on the eastern shore that we share about overreach on the part of the council. No reflection on the vote on the issue.

Mr Hidding - Fair enough, let us see how you go.

Ms O'CONNOR - That is fair. On the issue, we have here a copy of the City of Clarence Public Places and Permits By-law No. 1 of 2007. In this document is a section that talks about restrictions on use of public places. There is a suite of restrictions that relate to plucking or removing a plant, failing to comply with the directions of the manager in relation to caravans and cycles, digging, cutting, excavating or removing from any public place any sod, turf or earth, soil, sand and gravel, driving any vehicle in any part of a public place including any part of an arena, without the approval of the general manger, using any broadcasting, amplifiers, loud speakers in a public place without the approval, damaging, removing, disposing of disfiguring, painting or otherwise interfere with anything in a public place.

There was also mark or write, deface or paint on anything in the public place, camp in a public place except in accordance with the directions given by the general manger. Then it goes on to talk about animals and vehicles in public places, entrance charges to public places, unauthorised signage, playgrounds, outdoor dining.

There is nothing in the 2007 Clarence Council by-law that goes to the extent of the current Clarence Council by-law which absolutely prohibits peaceful assembly without the approval of the general manger of the council.

For anyone who is watching this debate tonight and watched the debate earlier, I am not reflecting on the vote. I want to read clause 38 in the Clarence Council by-laws that have just been agreed by the Liberal and Labor parties, which says:

Public assembly, speaking and entertainment -

A person in a public place must not, unless authorised by a permit or licence:

  • Conduct any amusement, busking entertainment or performance for financial reward;
  • Organise or participate in an assembly, rally, public speaking or similar activity;
  • Take up a collection of money; or
  • Conduct raffles or prize contests.

For members who have made contributions on this issue in this place to suggest that the current Clarence Council by-law is business as usual is dishonest, or they have not done their homework, or there is a political positioning here where, according to Ms Standen you have, for example, the Liberal and Labor Parties wanting to find a diplomatic solution to the cramping of people's rights.

When Mr Gutwein, the Minister for Local Government, stood up before and read out from various by-laws, he was being dishonest too because those by-laws relate to the powers of the council on council land.

Ms Archer - You are reflecting on the vote.

Ms O'CONNOR - I cannot reflect on the vote but I can certainly mention some of the things that were detailed there. I see that I am about to be pulled up, but it is important that the House understands this. There have been multiple layers of either laziness and not having a look at the by-laws, or political posturing -

Madam SPEAKER - I caution you, Ms O'Connor. Be careful what direction you are going.

Ms O'CONNOR - Hang on a minute; I am seeing how much I can get away with, thanks.

Madam SPEAKER - You have gone there, Ms O'Connor.

Ms O'CONNOR - I ask anyone who is watching this debate to compare and contrast the 2007 by-laws with the 2018 by-laws.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. I will clarify that reflecting on the debate includes reflecting on contributions made to the debate.

Ms O'CONNOR - Yes, thank you, Madam Speaker, for pulling me into line, and rightly so. I simply suggest to people who want to understand what is happening at a local government level in terms of restricting people's freedoms, particularly the freedom to peacefully assemble, to have a look at the 2007 Clarence Council by-laws and the 2018 by-laws and make your own judgment.