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Open Letter to Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee

Submission on the Summary Offences and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

Dear Members,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on the Summary Offences and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 which attempts to outlaw climate change activists stopping the mining and export of coal.

I am writing to you to express my concern and opposition to these new laws, which are disproportionate, overreaching, and appear to have no evidential basis.

I was involved in organising street marches from 4th Sept 1977 till July 1979 against the Bjelke-Petersen government’s attempt to export and mine uranium.

Bob Hawke’s support for mining and export of uranium has been proved wrong and the Qld Labor government’s nuclear free policies are testimony to this.

Similarly the burning of fossil fuels and the mining of coal is harmful to human and animal health and to life on earth. These laws are designed to take away our democratic right to organise where the ballot box has failed.

Locking on is a tradition in Brisbane and elsewhere. I remember John Pitt used to cycle from  West End in Brisbane to save Terania Creek from logging in NSW by climbing trees and locking on. John and his mates were successful with Neville Wran declaring Terania Creek a National park long before ‘Save the Franklin Dam’ became a cause celebre.

I remember in Brisbane in 1965 Rosalie Bognor and Merle Thornton chained themselves to the men-only bar at Toowong’s Regatta Hotel and demanded the right of women to be served.

We have a proud history of fighting for democratic rights in Queensland. A number of members owe their election to the Queensland Parliament to these democratic rights activists who struggled for over 40 years to bring about change.

Now the parliament is seeking to turn back the clock, and introduce draconian anti-democratic laws, something it has been reluctant to do since the days of the Bjelke-Petersen government.

Please rescind this bill and help make Queensland and the world free of fossil fuels.

Yours sincerely
Ian Curr
7 Oct 2019

Image: The photo was shot by Jennifer Fay Gow on 22 October 1977 in Adelaide Street Brisbane where 418 people were arrested for their opposition to uranium mining and export. Many years later it was discovered that there was a spike in cancers as a direct result of atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific.

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