The Knitting Nannas Against Gas are holding a ‘fluffy lock-on’ outside Lismore MP Thomas George’s office at 2pm today in protest against the Baird government’s new anti-protest laws.
The Enclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Interference) Act 2016 was yesterday proclaimed as a commencing Act.
Nanna Clare Twomey said the laws had the potential to have serious ramifications for anyone taking part in legitimate protests.
‘If they take the law to its utmost, Nannas can not only lose their knitting and secret pavlova recipes, but our cars, our knick-nacks and our homes.
‘Seriously, they can take everything a Nanna owns if she gets a little cranky outside her elected representative’s office.’
Greens candidate for Page Kudra Falla-Ricketts will speak at the protest.
‘These laws are specifically aimed to prevent democratic protests like the kind we saw at Bentley against invasive gas mining,’ Ms Falla-Ricketts said in a statement issued to media.
‘This is not just a state issue, this is a federal issue.’
‘Australia is one of the few modern democracies that lacks a comprehensive national Bill of Rights, and the Federal Parliament has the power to enact a Bill of Rights that can bind the states.
‘It has become urgent for Australia to honour its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to urgently introduce legislation to protect the rights of all Australians to peaceful democratic participation. ‘
Ms Falla-Ricketts also laid down the gauntlet to other Page candidates: “How can Kevin Hogan claim to stand with our community against invasive mining yet sit idly by whilst his own party strips away our rights to engage in active democracy. Our farmers and landholders shouldn’t face 7 years jail for protecting their land and water from coal seam gas industrialisation.
’There is no hiding on this, there is a clear federal issue at stake. I also invite other fellow candidates in Page to speak up in favour of the introduction of federal legislation to protect democratic rights as a matter of urgency.
‘Ultimately a Bill of Rights needs to be entrenched within the Constitution so that it binds both federal and state government but as an urgent measure the next parliament could introduce ordinary legislation that would at least bind these rogue conservative states that continue to undermine democracy in the interests of the mining industry.
The Greens National Policy is committed to the introduction of a comprehensive Federal Bill of Rights.
‘Legislation like the New South Wales anti-protest laws are a shining example of what happens when governments and political parties rely on the donations of the fossil fuel industry.
‘The Northern Rivers is being targeted by this legislation we must once again as a region defend ourselves.’