Dark Side to Libs protest Legislation

Labor MPs have vowed to spend the parliamentary break informing Tasmanians of the dark side to the Liberals’ protest legislation.

“The Government guillotined debate yesterday but it is important that Tasmanians are informed about just how far-reaching this legislation goes,” Shadow Attorney-General Lara Giddings said.

“These truly are draconian measures.

“There was no consultation whatsoever with anyone.

“The business and law communities have been left out in the cold.

“Paul Harriss wants to paint the picture of this debate being about dreadlocked protesters – it’s not. It’s about everyday mums and dads who will from time to time want to have their voice heard on issues.

“Tasmanians will be shocked that buried in this proposed law is that police would have the power to arrest people based solely on a suspicion of intent to protest.

“That could mean something as simple as a post or RSVP on social media could see someone behind bars.”

Shadow IT and Innovation Minister Madeleine Ogilvie said the bill is entirely silent about digital and on-line protests.

“It is silent as to impacts on media coverage of protest activity and those who might be caught in the net,” Ms Ogilvie said.

Ms Ogilvie, who is also the Shadow Small Business Minister, said a secure commercial environment for business in Tasmania could be balanced to also protect freedom of assembly.

“We must get this bill right,” Ms Ogilvie said.

“Labor has tried to be constructive on this bill yesterday but was shut down.

“After rushing through the lower house, the government must now convince Tasmanians, as well as the Legislative Council, of the bill’s merits.

“From any fair-minded reading there are very few.”

Planning appointment process doesn’t add up

Premier Will Hodgman continues to dig himself further into a hole on his version of events that led to the appointment of the Executive Commissioner of the Planning Reform Taskforce, Shadow Attorney General Lara Giddings said today.

“Mr Hodgman claims the Executive Commissioner was appointed from the pool of 71 applicants for a general position of the Planning Reform Taskforce,” Ms Giddings said.

“He could not answer why neither the role of Executive Commissioner, nor the six-figure salary for the Executive Commissioner was specifically advertised.

“He could not say when a position description of the Commissioner had been finalised and refused to immediately table it.

“He could not point to which legislation the Commissioner was employed under, especially in light of the Justice Department having no record of an appointment.

“There are far too many unanswered questions for any Tasmanian to be comfortable that this was not merely a political appointment.”