Echo: Anti-protest laws under review

With a review of the 2022 anti-protest laws currently in progress, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties is urging the NSW Labor government to incorporate public submissions into the process and ensure it is conducted with transparency.

NSWCCL have stated: "The right to protest is a fundamental democratic right that allows us to express our views, shape our societies, and press for social change. In NSW, and nationally across Australia, it is under attack"

'In April 2022, the NSW Parliament passed legislation to prevent illegal protesting on major roads, bridges, tunnels, public transport and infrastructure facilities. The new legislation amends section 144G the Roads Act 1993 which criminalises causing serious disruption by entering, remaining on or trespassing on prescribed major bridges and tunnels, to now include all “main roads”. Offences carry a maximum penalty of $22,000 or two years in gaol, or both.

The legislated review of the undemocratic “anti-protest” law is scheduled to take place after 1 April 2024 and will be carried out by the Department of Roads and the Attorney-General’s Department – the NSW Government has so far refused to commit to the review being open to the public and transparent. The right to protest cannot and should not be scheduled merely for a “departmental” review.

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