Environmental campaigners hold a protest against the development of the India-backed Adani coal mine at the entrance of Abbot Point port near the Queensland state town of Bowen on May 1, 2019.
Environmental campaigners hold a protest against the development of the India-backed Adani coal mine at the entrance of Abbot Point port near the Queensland state town of Bowen on May 1, 2019. PETER PARKS

Protesters could face 10 years jail under proposed LNP laws

A NINE-hour protest in which two anti-coal activists suspended themselves from poles has promoted calls for "tough new laws” to protect jobs in the regions.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said she would not apologise for her tough stance and believed protesters would not stop industrial action "because they know they can get away with it”.

If elected next year, Ms Frecklington said the LNP would introduce three new criminal offences which would make Queensland's trespass laws the "most comprehensive in the country”.

The proposed laws include aggravated trespass, serious criminal trespass and organised trespass.

Aggravated trespass charges would carry a maximum penalty of $13,055 fine or three years jail.

People who are involved in a deliberate campaign which intends to cause cause economic harm against an industry, a project or business could face this proposed charge.

Serious criminal trespass charges would carry a maximum penalty of $391,650 or 10 years jail.

A person who enters or remains in place as a trespasser and commits an offence punishable by imprisonment for three years or more would be liable of this charge but it would only apply to trespass on non-residential premises.

Organised trespass charges would have a maximum penalty of $391,650 or 10 years imprisonment.

This charge would apply to a director, member or volunteer of an organisation who is found to have organised a deliberate or premeditated campaign against a project or business that has had individuals from that organisation found guilty of committing offences of aggravated trespass or serious criminal trespass.

Police made 129 arrests as a result of anti-Adani protests from September 2017 to April this year.

These arrests have resulted in 194 charges.

A State Government spokesman said anyone who broke the law would be dealt with appropriately.

"The Palaszczuk Government acted quickly to establish on-the-spot fines of more than $650 for activists who breached biosecurity at farms or livestock businesses,” he said.

"Thousands of dollars in fines have been issued in the past to people who invaded the Port of Townsville as well as charges of trespass for people who blockaded a road to Abbot Point Coal Terminal.” 



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