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New mining laws ‘would lock up Knitting Nannas’

Knitting Nannas outside the Metgasco office in Casino. (supplied)

Knitting Nannas outside the Metgasco office in Casino last year.

The NSW government has refused to rule out arresting and forcibly removing the Knitting Nannas, the popular peaceful campaigners against coal-seam gas (CSG), under controversial new anti-mining protest laws.

Labor says the state’s energy minister Anthony Roberts has ‘made it clear the Knitting Nannas won’t be safe from new anti-mining protest laws proposed by the Liberals and Nationals’.

Opposition leader Luke Foley said that when Mr Roberts was asked in parliament yesterday if he would guarantee the government’s anti-mining protest laws would not see the Nannas forcibly removed and arrested during community protests, he said ‘No’.

‘The new laws being proposed by the Baird-Grant government will increase punishment for protesters from $550 to $5,500,’ Mr Foley said.

Police will also be given powers to issue ‘move on’ orders.

The Knitting Nannas Against Gas formed almost four years ago in the northern rivers as a response to contentious plans by mining companies to turn the region into a gasfield.

They often sat outside the Lismore office of National Party MP Thomas George and the Casino office of miner Metgasco, singing and kitting their anti-CSG message.

Mr Foley visited the group during last year’s election campaign to announce Labor’s policy to ban CSG mining in the northern rivers.

‘The Knitting Nannas are Gandhi-like in their commitment to peaceful protesting’, he said.

‘It’s ludicrous that the minister won’t protect a group of seniors who are simply expressing their concerns about the impacts of CSG mining.

‘The group represents the strong sentiment of the northern rivers community that CSG mining is not welcome.’

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8 responses to “New mining laws ‘would lock up Knitting Nannas’”

  1. Tim Shanasy says:

    The Baird – Grant NSW government can’t be allowed to effectively take the demo out of democracy.

    This IS a democracy . . .

    IS’NT IT ???

    • WhiteCrow RadhaMa says:

      No – this is not a democracy. It hasn’t been since the 1980’s. It took some time to introduce each of the legislations that match where the government is up to. It has been overtaken by an Oligarchy. The Australian Constitution’s articles are simple legislated against each time they become inconvenient. Similar applies to hard fought for pro social or pro environmental policies – the government waits a bit, then introduces a legislation to wipe out the gain. As happened with Mabo…..Australia is no longer a democracy, but we have the dubious democratic right (that is actually mandatory) to vote at election times. Whether or not that makes any real difference to outcomes is questionable.

  2. Mike Fibbens says:

    But how is the NSW government going in updating the outdated compensation laws for mining and CSG occupations of private land? Surely they wouldn’t be stupid enough to introduce punitive provisions before making provisions for proper landholder compensation. Would they?

  3. Jane Stevenson says:

    Any day now I expect Baird to order out tanks and water cannon against those who have the guts to stand up to its unfair treatment of the people being pushed around by the coal and CSG industry. How about the victims, Mr Baird? …. the little people who have worked hard to own their own properties only to find themselves surrounded by coal mines or CSG wells with no hope of ever selling, and no hope of getting free from the dust, the noise and the gases that make people, especially children, sick.
    I am ashamed of this government, it seems to think anything that produces dollars is progress.

  4. Barbara Lockwood says:

    I never thought I’d live to see this in Australia !
    What is happening to us?? Are we actually paying these thugs to run the country ? Why do people keep voting them back in ? Liberal – Labour it really doesn’t matter !
    No one cares about this land or the people ! Where are these politicians planning on living or are they all too scared to disobey their masters ?
    No wonder young thinking people commit suicide – what have they got to look forward to ?

  5. Martin says:

    Divest from the mining companies who are probably pushing these proposed laws:

    1) Bank account – switch to a credit union
    2) Super – move to Future Super, Australian Ethical Super or UniSuper (for university employees and their partners only)
    3) Investment fund – go with Hunter Hall or Australian Ethical Investment
    4) Home loan – try Future Home Loans (brokerage)
    5) Electricity – switch to 100% GreenPower, sign up with Powershop or Diamond Energy (highest ranked in the Green Electricity Guide.)

  6. jenny learmont says:

    makes me wish I could knit, does crochet count?

    • WhiteCrow RadhaMa says:

      It isn’t stupid from the government’s perspective. They are a corporation – and the only responsibility of a corporation is to make a profit. They have recently signed the TPP which ensures that corporations have the rulership over the planet and the people. It is profitable to turf people (who paid tax on their earrings, bought their land and houses and worked all their lives) – off their hard earned lands and not compensate them. And, you can’t demonstrate either with the new laws coming in – so stealing white people’s lands is the new way – it was ‘only’ the Original peoples before, whose lands were stolen – and too few noticed or attempted to arrest that – so the government became emboldened. They figured that it could sneak up and no one would notice until it was too late. They were right, weren’t they.

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