Rabu, 03 September 2014

Tas Government*s anti-protest bill fails to progress to Upper House committee (ABC)

Tasmanian Upper House refuses to send the Government s controversial protest laws to the committee stage.ABC Tasmanian Upper House refuses to send the Government's controversial protest laws to the committee stage.

The Tasmanian Government's controversial laws to jail people who disrupt workplaces will not be scrutinised by an Upper House committee.

The Government's motion to refer the legislation to a committee was narrowly defeated by MLCs this evening.

The anti-protest laws would impose on-the-spot fines and jail terms for people who repeatedly disrupt workplaces, but critics have said it has broader implications.

Resources Minister Paul Harriss said it proved the Opposition was "anti-worker".

"Obviously Labor has no interest in what the community has to say, or protecting workers' rights," he said.

"They've proven no matter what changes are made, they will not support the bill, or Tasmanian workers."

Mersey independent Mike Gaffney said the proposals were flawed and should not be scrutinised by the committee.

"I do not think it's the role of this council to take half-baked bills from the Government and try to turn them into something workable or something that the public will accept," he said.

The legislation is aimed at protecting businesses from protesters who disrupt work.

Independent Adriana Taylor was one of several who said she supported the principle of the bill, but did not like it in its current form.

"I think it needs a total rewrite. And we could do that but I don't know that it's our job to do that," she said.

Windermere independent Ivan Dean disagreed with that assessment.

"This is what the function of committees is," he said.

President Jim Wilkinson used his casting vote to defeat the motion, with the vote deadlocked at seven-seven.

A Government spokesman said the legislation would now be debated in the Upper House at an appropriate time.


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