Farmer, Rod Copeland believes anti protest laws could hinder his ability to protect his farm from fracking.
Piers Verstegen from Conservation Council of Western Australia, also spoke against the bill.
A diverse group of organisations and individuals from across Western Australia (including: farmers, conservation groups, religious organisation and unions) were protesting the state governments vague new law that would see a protester jailed for up to two years and fined upward of $20,000 dollars.
You can view the new bill in all it’s vague glory here.
The bill is not specific and could lead to even the most passive of protester being arrested.
“68AB. Preparation for physical prevention or trespass 2 (1) A person must not make, adapt or knowingly possess a 3 thing for the purpose of using it, or enabling it to be 4 used, in the commission of — 5 (a) an offence under section 68AA; or 6 (b) an offence under section 70A. 7 Penalty: imprisonment for 12 months and a fine 8 of $12 000″
You could be jailed up to two years just for holding a “thing” which could mean holding a shovel at your gate, or having a chain in your Ute or even waiving a flag. Not only that, but you’d be presumed guilty and would have to prove your innocence in court.
If you live in Western Australia and this concerns you too, please write or email your your local MP and let them know it needs to change.