Submission template for Queensland’s “Lock-On Laws”

On August 20th, Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk announced new legislation that would make “lock-on” devices illegal. The use of a lock-on, barrel, tripod or monopole (which generally is already against the law) would now be an offence carrying up to two years in prison. Possessing one of these devices would carry up to on year in prison.

The pretext for these laws was that Ms Palaszczuk had supposedly seen such devices “laced with dangerous traps” intended to injure police officers. She offered no evidence to back up this false accusation.

The proposed legislation is currently before parliament, who are accepting submissions from the public until Tuesday October 8th at 12pm. Below is a template submission you can use to have your say and help the lock-on pipe keep fighting for our planet.

Submission on the Summary Offences and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

XX/XX/2019

YOUR ADDRESS OR PHONE NUMBER

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

Dear Members,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on the Summary Offences and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019.

I am writing to you to express my deep concern and opposition to these new laws, which are disproportionate, overreaching, and appear to have no evidential basis.

[INSERT ANY RELEVANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR ORGANISATION, AND YOUR INTEREST IN THE BILL]

[INSERT YOUR PERSONAL OPINIONS}

FLAC’S CRITIQUES: PARAPHRASE SOME OR ALL OF THESE POINTS (or add your own!)

– The basis given for the drafting of these laws, that activists are using “lock-on” devices to attempt to injure police and safety officers, is not backed up by evidence. These devices have been used for decades, yet the Queensland government has not offered examples of police being injured, or anybody being charged with setting “booby-traps” inside lock-on devices; only speculation.

– The legislation in fact misrepresents the devices by including sinister-sounding terminology like “sleeping dragon” and “dragon’s den” which is not used by the activists themselves.

– If it was the case that activists were trying to use lock-on devices to injure police, that would already be illegal and the law has sufficient power to punish that.

– The law gives police extra powers to search without a warrant. Police already use “stop and search” powers as a way to intimidate and hinder protesters who have not broken any law, and this law will give them more justification to do so.

– Under the guise of safety, the government is bringing in laws which are really about stopping protest activity. The right to protest is a recognised pillar of democracy, and this right should include not just tokenistic free speech but actual effective protest activity as developed by historical protest movements.

– Australia has a proud history of successful protest movements using civil disobedience. These have advanced the rights of workers, gender and sexual equality, indigenous rights and environmental protection. Many of our national parks today are the result of protest activity which used devices of the kind prohibited under this law. Queensland Labor, which traces its origins to one such illegal protest (the 1891 shearers’ strike) should recognise this.

– To bring in superfluous laws, with limited evidential basis, to restrict protest is very dangerous. Not only does it erode our democracy, but it suppresses one of the vitally needed tools we have to address the climate crisis we are currently facing – something which, unlike lock-on devices, actually is a genuine threat to health and safety.

For more info and ideas, read Action Ready’s wonderful submission guide: https://www.actionreadyqld.com/take-action

To see the legislation: https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/whole/html/bill.first/bill-2019-056

Sign the submission with your name, save it as a PDF, and email it to: lacsc@parliament.qld.gov.au