21.2 C
Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

ALP would repeal protest laws ‘in first 100 days’

Latest News

Goonellabah drive-thru COVID testing this weekend at GSAC

With the community in lockdown, Lismore City Council says it is important for to get tested for COVID-19, even if you only have the mildest of symptoms. 

Other News

COVID choices

The virus isn’t going anywhere – it’s here to stay. There are three real solutions. 1. Let the virus run...

Printmakers make their mark at Tweed Regional Gallery

A new exhibition featuring the work of some of Australia’s leading printmakers has been installed and is ready to be enjoyed by visitors when the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre reopens tomorrow.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 15 September, 2021

Inception – Byron Theatre’s first post-lockdown live event Cancelled twice owing to the local lockdown, Three Lords’ Inception and AV...

Comedic paranoia

Despite Peter Olsen’s limitless comedic ability, perhaps it’s time for The Echo to curtail his paranoid multi conspiracy theories...

Queensland passes voluntary assisted dying laws

Dying with Dignity NSW has welcomed the passage of Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws in Queensland and is hoping that NSW Parliament resumes next month so that this issue can be addressed in NSW without further delay.

New ocean temperature data help scientists make their hot predictions

We’ve heard that rising temperatures will lead to rising sea levels, but what many may not realise is that most of the increase in energy in the climate system is occurring in the ocean.  

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

Reece Byrnes re-elected as Tweed Deputy Mayor

With many many local councils are juggling the elections timetable owing to COVID-19 restrictions, and last night the Tweed Shire elected their Deputy Mayor.

COVID update includes trial of home quarantine

When media were told that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian would be at today's 11am update, we expected big news – the Premier said last week she would only attend the updates if it were important news.

How is RT-PCR used to diagnose COVID-19?

It’s fast, reliable and full of lines – but might look different to the PCR you learned about in school.

Queensland passes voluntary assisted dying laws

Dying with Dignity NSW has welcomed the passage of Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws in Queensland and is hoping that NSW Parliament resumes next month so that this issue can be addressed in NSW without further delay.