Protests `must be insured’
By CHRIS JOHNSON, Friday, 25 February 2005
New rule on dissent
Protests on the lawns of State Parliament have been deemed illegal unless the organisers have secured $20 million public liability insurance.

A joint house committee chaired by Speaker Michael Polley ruled that groups wanting to use the lawns must carry the insurance.

The Government says most groups would already have such coverage, but conservationists insist that the move is an attack on freedom of speech.

The Greens contacted eight insurance companies and brokers and had been informed in all cases that specific public liability coverage was not available.

The Greens, who were not invited to join the parliamentary committee, said the ruling was an “unacceptable cost on democratic participation”.

Greens justice spokesman Nick McKim said Parliament, not the public, had an obligation to provide liability cover for users of its gardens.

etc, etc:
New rule on dissent