Tasmanian Times

Environment

Arrests on pulp mill biggest for years

THE biggest single group of protesters arrested in Tasmania since the days of the Gordon-below- Franklin blockades will have to wait for their day in court.

Inspector Glen Woolley said yesterday he hadn’t seen a group of people arrested as big as the one that took over the steps of Parliament House last Thursday.

“We wouldn’t have seen anything like this one since the days of the Gordon-below-Franklin blockades,” he said.

More than half the group of more than 100 protesters stood their ground when police attempted to move them from the steps to the lawns of Parliament House for their peaceful protest late last week.

The individuals were members of the Tamar Valley-based Pulp the Mill group who are committed to civil disobedience as a way to protest against the proposed Gunns $2.5 billion pulp mill at Bell Bay.

Pulp the Mill spokeswoman Lucy Landon-Lane said the protest was the third of its kind so far by the group, with more planned.

The protestors’ appeal against their bail conditions will be heard in the Hobart Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Read the full story, HERE

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. amyb

    November 24, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    This appears to be wrong. Section 2 preceding the bit about the grounds says:

    (2) The grounds of Parliament House comprise all that land, surrounding but not including Parliament House, shown as Lot 3 and bounded by a heavy black line on Plan 8497 in the Central Plan Register.

    Note the bit about “not including” Parliament House, which has already been proven by Pam Clark’s case to include the steps – i.e. the steps are not part of the grounds but are part of the building itself.

    There might be another act concerning the actual house, but with all the legal opinion seeming to indicate that there were no laws broken until the police gave the order to move (disobeying that being the “crime”), I reckon these lawyers would not offer that opinion unless they’d researched the laws involved.

  2. kate

    November 23, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Further to my post, when we were standing there on the steps, some fellow from the house came out and read out a “proclamation” along the lines of “by the power vested in me etc etc” basically telling us to move along and then the police gave us 2 minutes to obey or we would be arrested. Then when we hadn’t moved he gave us another minute! Then we were arrested one by one.

  3. kate

    November 23, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    This would appear to be the pertinent section:

    [b] 3. Control of grounds

    (1) Control of the grounds of Parliament House is vested in the House Committee created by the Standing Orders of the Houses of Parliament.

    (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), in the exercise of such control the House Committee may –

    (a) appoint a person as controlling officer; and

    (b) make rules for the conduct of persons in the grounds of Parliament House and for the exclusion therefrom of specified classes of persons and of all or any specified classes of vehicles; and

    (c) give orders for –

    (i) the conduct of persons in those grounds; and

    (ii) the exclusion therefrom of specified persons or classes of person and of all or any specified vehicles or classes of vehicles –

    on any particular occasion; and
    (d) delegate by rule or order control of those grounds, including the power to give orders under paragraph (c), to the controlling officer. [b]

    In other words they can do what they bloody well please whenever they like

  4. Second Opinion

    November 23, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    This is the Act, concerning activities within the grounds of Parliament House.

    http://tinyurl.com/yc926n7

    Are there any subsequent rules or regulations, that further refine the position?

  5. Concerned Resident

    November 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I agree with you Max…The Gov’t will not know what has hit them.

  6. kate

    November 23, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    #5 Yes I understand that there is a law that expressly forbids protesting on the steps or in the car park of parliament house. Which is pretty handy really if one wants to get arrested!

  7. max

    November 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    At the moment all is quiet with the pulp mill as most people think it is a non event, but if any one is stupid enough to finance the mill, the proverbial will hit the fan. It would be realistic to expect 5000 or more standing on the steps and perhaps not so well behaved. The feelings about the wrongness of this mill haven’t gone away, they are simmering and if or when it reaches boiling point the people will explode and and the state will see the worst cases of civil unrest that has ever been seen in Australia.

  8. Gerry Mander

    November 23, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Stand on Parliament steps and it’s illegal – stand on the grass in front of Parliament and it’s OK.

    Are there any notices proclaiming this? Have they drawn a yellow line in front of the steps? Isn’t Parliament a Public Building where the people have a right to enter? Aren’t the people inside supposed to be representing the people who were arrested outside? Would they have arrested John Gay if he stood on the steps?

    I think the Indians might find a name for it. It’s called Bollotics!

  9. Stephani of Rowella

    November 23, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I was one of those 57 arrested. I live 3km from the proposed pulp mill site in an area that is NOT heavy industrial, as the government and Gunns would have you believe, but rural/residential. I am surrounded by vineyards, orchards, organic farms, livestock farming and many tourists ventures. This mill will produce some of the most revolting odours let alone the pollution in our air sea and groundwater. Over the last 5 years myself and others have tried many ways to make ourselves heard. We have rung takback radio, written letters to newpapers and politicians, spoken to politicians face to face. Filed submissions to the Regional Planning and Development Commision, held rallys etc etc etc. All to no avail. Last year a group of us even tried taking the Tasmanian Government to the Supreme Court looking for answers as to why they rushed the Pulp Mill Assesmant Act through parliament. We were told that we had no right to ask, due to Section 11 of the act, and were even threatened with contempt and jail for asking. So last Thursday dozens stood on the steps of parliament to ask for answers and 57 of us were arrested for doing so. The police were very polite, some even apologetic, they are just doing their job. To find out how to help these people go to http://www.pulpthemill.org

  10. Suzi

    November 22, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    “Each time a (person) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope… those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Robert F. Kennedy

    The number of Tasmanians prepared to stand up against the pulp mill and the accompanying corruption is growing rapidly. This is just the beginning of a groundswell of action by people who have exhausted all other avenues. Watch the ripples!

  11. one of the 57

    November 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    and they havnt seen nothing yet !

    the encouragement i have received is huge, even by people i thought were ‘sitting on the fence’ on this issue, to the point that many have said they would be prepared in the future.

    i do not like to take up police time and resources but that is very much offset by the actions of the lab/lib gunnerment and their inability to see past the election cycle.

  12. salamander

    November 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Next time it may well be even bigger. And I am sure there will be a next time, because LibLab is not listening.

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