16.2 C
Byron Shire
June 23, 2024

ALP would repeal protest laws ‘in first 100 days’

Latest News

Drones not detonation

The extraordinary popularity of the Vivid light shows in Sydney has exploded this year, but quietly, thanks to the...

Other News

Bruns garden for community under threat

Bruns local Toni Storer thought one way to help her neighbours and other locals to survive the economic downturn was to stop mowing and weeding the Council strip at the front of her house and to pop in a veggie garden.

Sunshine brings football back to the Northern Rivers

After weeks of relentless rain washing out every game, the sunny days of June have allowed local football to...

Occupants of empty buyback homes face eviction day

Members of Lismore’s Reclaim our Recovery community group called for a last-minute gathering of supporters this morning as people continued to occupy otherwise abandoned houses in North Lismore.

Inequity underpins solar-battery rebates

Over 3.2 million Australian households now have solar systems, and NSW leads, with a million systems (rooftop, heated pool or hot water).

The incredible shrinking ambition of Peter Dutton

Last week, Peter Dutton's Liberal-National Coalition formally abandoned Australia's legislated 2030 emissions reduction target.

Labor announces its councillor ticket for Byron Shire

Labor councillor, Asren Pugh, and South Golden Beach local, Janet Swain will head the Byron Shire Labor team to contest the Byron Shire Council elections on September 14.

NSW Labor leader Luke Foley (front & centre) with local Labor luminaries Justine Elliot (left), Janelle Saffin (front, right) and Jenny Dowell (rear right) plus Knitting Nannas and members of Lock the Gate in Lismore.
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley (front & centre) with local Labor luminaries Justine Elliot (left), Janelle Saffin and Adam Searle (front, right) and Jenny Dowell (rear right) plus Knitting Nannas and members of Lock the Gate in Lismore.

State opposition leader Luke Foley is the latest in a line of opposition and government leaders to visit the north coast this week.

At a meeting with the Knitting Nannas, Lock the Gate and Gasfield Free Northern Rivers in Lismore this morning, Mr Foley announced that a Labor state government would abolish the Coalition’s controversial anti-protest laws within the first 100 days of taking office.

‘While Mike Baird moves to arrest peaceful protestors he has reduced the penalties that mining companies can face,’ Mr Foley told the meeting.

Before the legislative changes, companies faced fines of up to $1.1 million, now those offences can be dealt with by way of a penalty infringement notice and a $5,000 fine.

‘This is a government that sides with corporate interests and not the community,’ Mr Foley said.

‘I will repeal the Baird government’s undemocratic anti-protest laws within 100 days of the election of a NSW Labor government,’ he added.

But while a federal election is just months away, the next NSW election isn’t due until March 2019.

A cynical onlooker might be prone to think his main motivation was to boost the chances of Labor’s Page candidate (and former MP for the swinging seat) Janelle Saffin.

But Mr Foley’s spokesperson told Echonetdaily it was ‘logical’ for him to come to Lismore to make the announcement ‘as it’s been such a major issue up there’.

And that was backed up by a chorus of federal and local Labor luminaries including Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, Richmond MP Justine Elliot and Page contender Ms Saffin herself.

Ms Saffin accused the Liberal-National government of creating the laws specifically ‘to break up community protests like the Bentley protest and groups like the Knitting Nannas.’

Mayor Dowell said community members had ‘successfully and peacefully protested against CSG on the north coast and will continue to do so if necessary.’

‘They deserve to exercise that right without fear of arrest or a whopping fine,’ Cr Dowell said.

Ms Elliot said the legislation ‘criminalises activities that were once completely legal and could see upstanding members of the community jailed for up to seven years.’

‘These changes are particularly directed to community protests against coal seam and other unconventional gas projects, especially on the north coast of NSW,’ she said.

Shadow resources minister Adam Searle said the right of citizens to peacefully protest was ‘a corner-stone of our democracy.

‘These new laws are aimed at preventing legitimate, peaceful protests.

‘This legislation elevates the rights of CSG and other mining companies over the rights of land owners; it advantages business interests over those of other property rights and the general community,’ Mr Searle said.


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.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is the response to the governments laws?
    It’s weak. Why haven’t these people whose campaign strategy brought about these laws, simply flooded the jails? You wouldn’t run blockades like this if you didn’t have the numbers to back you up? Let’s see the battle commence, simply slinking off until 2019 is treason to the anti-CSG cause. You can’t let them win like this. Someone call the Frackman, he’ll stop them. Or was it all just noise? Just a show designed to raise and waste money, and ultimately lose the battle?
    Answers from The Knitting Nanas, Lock the Gate and Gas Field Free Northern Rivers please. Explain yourselves. I watched, and filmed as Lock the Gate shut down the anti-CSG protests in Queensland, now NSW. I see a pattern.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Cars and other items stolen from Brunswick Heads

Local police are warning residents in the Byron Shire to be diligent in maintaining their home security after personal items and vehicles were stolen from Brunswick Heads yesterday.

Yes, peace is the solution

Both Duncan Shipley-Smith and John Scrivener yet again display the same responses that I talk about over, and over and over again. They do...

Teething problem

I think it’s really stupid and potentially dangerous that the concept of an absorption period of charging a lead acid battery has been transferred...

Rising Tide activists head to Justine Elliot’s office with kayaks

Today saw just over 40 people kayak from John Follent Park in Tweed Heads to Faux Park in South Tweed, before walking close to a one km with their kayaks to the Labor Member for Richmond's Office to demand an end to new fossil fuel projects.