23.8 C
Byron Shire
March 3, 2024

7 years’ jail for democratic protest: welcome to NSW

Latest News

On Wallum

We seem to rely way too much on Byron Council and councillors to have the knowledge or expertise in...

Other News

Marching in with a bang!

Get your party pants on as Nudge Nudge Wink Wink marches in with a bang this Saturday. Arrive early and leave late! Two incredible guest DJs join the Cunning Stunts residents in the Shed.

SAE Institute now a University College

Creative media educator, SAE, says it is has been reclassified from institute to a University College. 

Delay on clothes-optional beach decision 

Tyagarah Beach will remain a clothes-optional location until at least June 30, after the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) bowed to a concerted campaign from the local naturist community.

Editorial – Grab the popcorn and bean bags

Both Mayor Michael Lyon and fellow councillor, Mark Swivel, offered an apology to the followers of the Save Wallum Facebook page last week.

Incoming holiday letting rules discriminatory, say residents

Byron Bay resident, Catherine Henniker, told The Echo she lives in one of the parts of the town that has been deemed ‘365 nights for short-term holiday lets’, under new state government rules to be introduced in September.

Seniors Festival returns March 11

The Byron Seniors Festival is back, and will be held from March 11 to 15 at the Byron Community Centre.

Northern Rivers Guardians’ Scott Sledge at the main entrance to Metgasco’s planned tight sands drill site at Bentley. Photo Wayne Penn
The Bentley blockade would be illegal under new laws planned by the NSW Government, designed to favour coal mining magnates and CSG companies. Photo Wayne Penn

Chris Dobney

According to the Greens’ Jeremy Buckingham, the state’s controversial new legislation targeting coal-mine and CSG protesters could see the Knitting Nannas jailed for up to seven years for their efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the state.

Democratic protest is everyone’s right in Australia except –we’re now told – anyone who questions miners’ rights.

Let’s have a look at what else attracts a seven-year prison sentence in the state.

One-punch attacks are high on the list. Shaun McNeill was sentenced to 7.5 years for the one-punch killing of Daniel Christie on New Year’s Eve 2013.

The Nannas would also likely be in the company of child sex offenders.

Former Bega Cheese boss Maurice Van Ryn was initially sentenced to seven years for the abuse of nine boys and girls between the ages of eight and 15, although this was later increased on appeal by the Crown.

However, until recently, the crime of aggravated indecent assault against a child aged under 16 carried a maximum penalty of seven years.

Fraud seems to be another crime that often commands a seven-year sentence.

So-called finance expert Anthony James Dixon was last year convicted of running a sophisticated tax scam which cost the government about $135 million. He was sentenced to seven years in jail but, fortunately for Anthony, the judge allowed for time already served.

Many other crimes carry minimum sentences of less than seven years including robbery, burglary, kidnapping, importing child pornography and computer crime.

Manslaughter carries a minimum sentence of one year, depending on the circumstances.

Assault of an elderly, blind, disabled, pregnant, or mentally retarded person, second degree with a firearm, carries a maximum sentence of just five years.

So the Knitting Nannas would be in good company.

And, as Mr Buckingham points out, the legislation the government is looking at amending to protect is mates in the mining industry was originally written in very different circumstances.

‘Section 201 of the Crimes Act 1900 was originally intended to stop serious acts of industrial sabotage by protesting mine workers in the 1980s, but the Bill before parliament expands the definition to encompass coal seam gas sites and construction sites after the courts ruled that protesters trying to stop the construction of Maules Creek coal mine could not be prosecuted under this section as it was a construction site, not a mine,’ Mr Buckingham says.

This kind of draconian legislation that turns ordinary law abiding citizens into criminals stinks of politicians doing favours for their mates in the mining industry.

It makes Mike Baird look like Joh Bjelke Petersen, or worse.

It is unlikely that people of conscience demonstrating in the Pilliga, Breeza or Maules Creek will be deterred by it.

The government must immediately withdraw this ridiculous amendment or face a lot more overcrowded prisons.

Labor must join the Greens in speaking out about it – and voting against it if it should come to that.

Chris Dobney is the editor of Echonetdaily.

Related posts:

Your right to protest – where do your local politicians stand?

With the public’s right to protest under the spotlight, where do those who represent us at the state level (or aspire to), stand with the current law that sent activist Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco to jail for 15 months?

1

Climate activist Violet Coco released on bail 

Yesterday Judge T Gartellman ensured Violet Coco was released from jail on a good behaviour bond as she waits for an appeal on her 15 month sentence for protesting climate change.

4

Locals join the call to reverse NSW anti-protest laws

Around 150 people braved the rain on Saturday at Lismore’s Peace Park to highlight the harsh sentencing of Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco for stopping a lane of traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in April this year and call to...

11

Calls to reverse NSW anti-protest laws

The harsh sentencing of Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco for stopping a lane of traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in April this year has led to a range of protests and the call to reverse NSW anti-protest laws by lawyer and Greens NSW Legislative Council Member Sue Higginson.

6

Lismore Greens target state govt’s anti-protest laws

Greens candidate for the state seat of Lismore, Sue Higginson, has launched a campaign to reverse the state government’s recently enacted anti-protest laws.

0


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Time to give the fossil fuel autocrats a taste of their own medicine by divesting:

    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 (both highest ranked in the Green Electricity Guide.)

  2. this type of corrupt legislation going unchallenged by Police who should have arrested the criminals who attempted to enact it, shows just how far this country has degraded and just how stupid and supportive of organized crime Australian police have become.

  3. Mike Baird shows his leadership by getting tough on the key challenges facing the state:

    Marijuana smokers – TICK
    Cyclists – TICK
    Partygoers and revellers – TICK
    Anti-gas protestors – TICK

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Byron influencers

I'd love to know the fashion swimwear evolution for the Bundjalung people swimming at Tyagarah, 60,000, 50,000, 40,000, 30,000, 20,000, 10,000 and 250 years...

How would you stop koalas going extinct in the wild?

The strategy for koala conservation is currently under review and the community is being asked for feedback on the best ways to help NSW’s endangered koalas.

First Australian made and owned rocket test flight coming…

Gilmour Space Technologies is looking to put Australia on the map when it comes to space flight with the first test flight of an Australian-made and owned rocket coming in a few months.

Mandy gets back to a little virgin sacrifice

The virgin sacrifice is bak with Mandy Nolan bringing the Northern Rivers a new batch of comedy virgins coming to the stage.