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Two year jail sentences approved for anti coal protests using dangerous devices

Extinction Rebellion in Brisbane
Extinction Rebellion in Brisbane

Anti mining demonstrators found attached to a dangerous locking device will face up to two years behind bars according to new rules that came into effect on October 24.

The Queensland Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of enacting the new Dangerous Attachment Device law, which bans protestors from using ‘sleeping dragons’, ‘dragon’s dens’, ‘tripods’ and ‘monopoles’ made of metal, glass and other hazardous materials to lock their limbs onto stationary objects. Extinction Rebellion protests intensified after the State Government approved Adani Australia’s Carmichael Coal Project on June 14.

$7000 fine

Authorities who arrive at the scene must use special tools like angle grinders, cold cut saws, hydraulic cutters, hammer drills and jack hammers to free them, putting everyone involved at risk of serious injury. This is feared to prevent emergency services from responding to urgent calls for assistance.

State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed anyone found attached such a device could face up to two years in prison or be fined nearly $7000.

“These laws target the actions of those extremists who put at risk not just themselves but also the lives of other Queenslanders,” the premier said in parliament. “When those devices are reinforced with metal, wire or glass—fragments that can become projectiles—they can injure police, emergency services workers or members of our community. It is only those dangerous attachment devices that we are targeting.”

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Searching vehicles

Queensland Police will also be given powers to search people and vehicles without a warrant, provided there is a reasonable suspicion the suspect if carrying a dangerous locking device.

“If police see a vehicle heading along the road into the CBD with a dangerous attachment device, such as a sleeping dragon or a dragon’s den, they can confiscate that device to prevent it from being used,” Palaszczuk said. “If a dangerous device is found on a person or in their vehicle, the device can be deactivated or disassembled, seized and disposed of as considered reasonably necessary.”

Extinction Rebellion southeast Queensland rejected the new rules, claiming “lock-on devices have been used safely for decades” and the devices are only used to appeal to the “humanity of police or others to treat them with care and respect”.

“We must reject these laws that seek to strip back civil rights,” the group said on Facebook.