Just backing up trespass laws
IT would seem some activists believe that they have a God-given right to flout the law with respect to trespass, etc, when they are protesting. The Liberal Government’s revised protest law is not some draconian inspired law to stop protest but a much needed redressing of the balance in terms of the rights of those on the receiving end of protests and workplace invasions.
The intent of the protest laws is to allow people to go about their lawful business without undue interference, regardless of whether some small group has decided to take exception to that business. In the case of farmers this trespass is not only of their business but their homes. The laws do not prevent protest, they just buttress existing trespass laws to inhibit protesters invading or blockading businesses and homes. This might reduce the theatre the protesters crave, so perhaps they will now need to better articulate their message to make their point for public consideration. Evan Evans Lindisfarne
No more softly, softly
GREENS leader Cassy O’Connor’s outburst on protest laws is an example of disdain for the right of people to earn a living and go about their business, abiding by the laws of democratically elected governments. For too long, laws have been ignored, because of the go-softly approach adopted by those charged with upholding the law, to where they now appear irrelevant to those masquerading as protesters. Government has little option than be specific on what is and isn’t acceptable action by unruly activists and make sure the present laws are prosecuted to their fullest to protect those whose daily lives are affected by this rabble.
Now Labor has disassociated itself from the green movement, we can expect its support to give Mr Hodgman the courage to attack outstanding matters such as health, housing, the need and location of a new prison, and this public protection, with a vigour not previously seen and without the need for further regulation. J. Pritchard Claremont
I WAS under the impression we still lived in a democracy but it appears the Hodgman Government’s definition is a far cry from mine given its proposal for laws to outlaw peaceful gatherings on public land, eg beaches, parks or even footpaths to voice concerns over controversial developments. What is even more chilling is that the laws are apparently targeted at conservationists and those concerned about animal rights, destruction of our forests and pollution from expanding aquaculture So everyone who opposes developments such as Mt Wellington/kunanyi cable car, Skyway in Cataract Gorge or Westbury prison all risk steep fines and ludicrously lengthy jail terms.
A 21-year term for supporting Tasmania’s wilderness, its built heritage and healthy oceans? Really? And the thousands of school students protesting inaction on climate change and their fears for the future. Do they fall into the “hardcore” protesting element, as described by Minister Barnett? The legislation has no place on Tasmania’s statute books so it’s to be hoped parliament will reject it absolutely. Anne Layton-Bennett Swan Bay
PROTESTERS should not be allowed to go to a person’s place of business or work and obstruct them from doing their job. Protesters who want to vent frustrations should do it peacefully and not interfere with business and workers. Protests that cause interference or police attendance do nothing for the cause in the eyes of the majority, rather the reaction is a negative one adverse to what the protest is about. Alan Leitch Austins Ferry
Protest as feedback
PROTESTING is a legal liberty that can be interpreted as giving feedback to a business for goods or services, or used to describe a mass demonstration. Given our government’s record and claims of wanting to simplify bureaucratic process, I’m sceptical. I’m left to ponder current criminal laws, secrecy laws, contempt laws, anti-discrimination laws, information laws, intellectual property laws, media and telecommunications laws against our citizen, human and consumer rights. Let’s not forget to analyse the facts, including past need for such action and the outcomes. Kelly Sims Glenorchy City Council