24/10/2019

Environmental group Frontline Action on Coal has condemned the “lock-on laws” passed today in Queensland parliament; saying they are deceitful, overreaching, and ultimately will not stop people taking action demanded by climate crisis.

The Dangerous Attachment Devices bill passed in parliament with a majority of 86 votes to 1 after having more extreme amendments proposed by the LNP rejected.

Frontline Action on Coal spokesperson Andy Paine said “the Queensland community should be concerned about these laws first of all because they are based on a lie – the false claims that the devices are “laced with dangerous traps” intended to injure police officers. This claim was a key part of the rationale for this law but has never been backed up by evidence. In the committee hearing when police were asked if they had heard of the supposed aerosol cans being hidden in devices, they responded with one anecdote from 2005 and still were unsure of whether it actually occurred.

“The committee process was a joke, with hearings rushed and witnesses given little to no time to prepare. Evidence was submitted by police without labels, dates or locations; with no opportunity for other groups to speak after them and challenge the claims. Most of the submissions, including human rights and law experts, opposed the bill; yet the committee recommended the laws be passed in full.

“The government has bypassed normal parliamentary procedures, and resorted to spreading baseless accusations, in order to pass a law that is specifically aimed at restricting political protest. Every single Queenslander should be concerned about the threats to democracy implicit in those actions.

“Ultimately though, these laws will not stop people taking direct action against the actual threat to safety which is climate breakdown. Civil disobedience has a long and proud history in Australia and around the world of enacting positive social change and protecting our environment. Right now, facing a climate crisis that governments have proven unable or unwilling to stop, we need courageous and creative citizen political engagement more than ever. If Annastacia Palaszczuk thinks repressive laws will be enough to stop people of conscience taking action for our climate, she is going to be disappointed.”

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