You are here

Climate Action Protesters

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Tags: Climate Change, Protest

Peaceful Protests: Cassy O'Connor, 16 October, 2019



Yesterday out the front of Parliament House three relatively elderly protesters were arrested for peacefully protesting for climate action. They are part of a global movement of everyday citizens who are fed up with government inaction on climate and taking their message to the streets. Clearly discomforted by such protesters and their message, in response the Queensland and New South Wales governments are threatening to ban these peaceful protesters. Federal ministers are threatening further crackdowns to silence climate protesters in breach of our obligations under the international covenant on civil and political rights.

Will you today give a clear and unequivocal commitment that you will not lurch down the road of authoritarianism, like your state and federal colleagues from both parties, and that Tasmanian citizens taking peaceful, civil protest actions for a safe climate will continue to be able to do so under the current legal framework?



Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I do not want to repeat all the things this Government is doing to address climate change and to advance our bidding to be not only the nation's renewal energy factory but also to be 100 per cent renewable by 2022 and deliver support through our Climate Action 21 plan which is being delivered under this Government and supporting business, government, Tasmanians in their homes to be more energy efficient.

As we have previously acknowledged in this place, we are making great strides, to be one of the first jurisdictions in the world, and certainly the first in Australia to be net emissions free. We achieved that in 2016. It shows how much we are doing to be an important contributor to climate action and to sustainability, and importantly to supporting Tasmania's growth as a renewable energy powerhouse.

We respect the views of people who have contrary opinions, or those who may not be fully aware of these matters. I implore members in this place to ensure that those who have concerns about what the Tasmanian Government is doing to point them to our Climate Action 21 plan and those initiatives, and the progress we have made so that we can proudly say that in Tasmania we are certainly doing our bit.

Ms O'Connor - Yes, but they know you are backing in coal and logging.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, Ms O'Connor.

Mr HODGMAN - We respect the rights of people to peacefully express their views and to protest as well. We have a very strong view, one not well supported by the Labor Party, who claim to be the best friends of the worker, to protect people in their place of work from being inhibited from doing that by protests which are unlawful and which are disruptive to their place of work. We have endeavoured to provide additional support to ensure our laws are strong enough to protect people and their right to go to work. We wish we have had more support from the party of the workers, as they claim to be, to get that through.

Madam Speaker, how the police undertake their duties are operational and not ones that should be directed by politicians. But we have no intentions to change our law in this regard.