The announcement by the NSW Government this week of the introduction of the Inclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Amendment (Interference) Bill 2016 has been controversial. As a result of increasing public protest at mine sites and the unpopularity of the proposed Liverpool Plains mine, the NSW Government has created this Bill, the key parts being:
-The introduction of an offence called ‘aggravated unlawful entry on inclosed lands’, which will have a maximum penalty of $5,500 under the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901
-The inclusion of CSG activities (legal term being ‘petroleum workplaces’) within the section 201 of the Crimes Act 1900 relating to interfering with a mine which includes a seven year imprisonment term
-More powers for police to search and seize items from people who intend to attach themselves to equipment or structures.
The Bill is certainly an escalation of the ability of police to break up and prosecute anti-mining protestors. Understandably, mining businesses and the Minerals Council favour this approach.
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