West Australian Govt gets real with protesters

ChainedThe West Australian Government last week introduced legislation to Parliament designed to stop protesters who chain themselves to machinery or other objects in an attempt to stop work.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said the laws were specifically aimed at protesters who used devices such as thumb and arm locks, which require a skilled technician to remove.

“It’s a very expensive activity, it causes maximum disruption and we think it’s gone too far,” she said.

“Some of these protesters have actually locked themselves in 40 gallon drums full of concrete and chains, so police have to find a way to grind through those devices.”

Meanwhile, a protester has locked herself to a “car dragon” in the middle of the main access road into Helms Forest near Nannup in the South West. A car dragon is a disused car that has had its wheels taken off and been cemented to the ground by protesters in a bid to block access to a place. Des Patterson is protesting against the logging of the forest, in which she releases rehabilitated black cockatoos. Ms Patterson has chained herself to a metal cylinder that runs through the car and has been cemented into the road.

Under the proposed legislation, if a protester intentionally or physically prevents a lawful activity, they can be imprisoned for up to a year, or face a $12,000 fine. In circumstances of aggravation, offences will be punishable by up to two years in jail or a fine of $24,000.

The NZ govt should look at similar legislation, especially in view of what has happened in Auckland recently relating to the removal of trees from privately owned land.



Categories: Australian Politics, Environment, NZ Politics

Tags: , ,

3 replies

  1. I note that Lucy Lawless has not chained herself to anything for a while.

    A conviction would prevent her from travelling overseas.

    We should look at something similar for the tree hugger, deport him back to the land of OZ.

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  2. Tasmania introduced laws about this some years ago for exactly the same reasons; [1] people concreteing cars in forests ect.

    [2] Because the Tasmanian police said that there is lawful protesting, and then there is criminal behaviour. They then listed that ‘protesters’ often stopped people from conducting their lawful business[by occupying places of business ect], illegaly protesting on private land[trespassing], damageing private and public property, damageing police property, failing to do as requested by police, abusing and obstructing members of the public, placeing graffiti on private and public property, stealing[in the case of removing animals and equiupment ect].

    They were refering to the Greens and their enviromental counterparts, not the unions or others. The police then started taking a stronger stance with the greens and arrested them at the first opportunity. Cheers Red.

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