Protesters will be banned from using ‘dangerous’ lock-on devices under new laws passed in Parliament.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the new Dangerous Attachment Device laws were focused one the safety of emergency workers and the safety of the individuals planning to use the devices.
“The penalty for using one of these devices will be up to two years imprisonment or a fine of nearly $7000,” he said.
“It is both the design of these devices and the manner in which they are used which make them potentially dangerous.
“For example, devices which are embedded with metal or other items and those which incorporate glass sleeves, have the potential to cause significant injuries to the individual, police, emergency services and community members if removed incorrectly or hastily.
“Devices that use trip wires or drums reinforced with concrete to obstruct rail lines and roads could result in serious injury or death if individuals are not removed and the trains or vehicles stopped.”
Coal operations targeted
Such devices have been used repeatedly in anti-coal and anti-Adani protests, including in bids to block the rail line to the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen.
Adani this month posted footage on its Facebook page when a police officer suffered an arm wound while using and angle grinder to remove protestors from a barrel locking device there. (View HERE)
“This is the most elaborate device we’ve seen to date. The ‘sleeping dragon’ device was an old drum filled with hard-set concrete and with reinforcing steel, steel pipes and a pipe flange inside,” the company commented.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has previously voiced its support for the new powers to crack down on disruptive activists.
The State Government said the use of potentially dangerous attachment devices such as ‘sleeping dragons’, ‘dragon’s dens’, ‘tripods’ and ‘monopoles’ presented a risk to the safety of emergency service personnel and the broader community.
The risk is exacerbated by the way some attachment devices have previously been, or may be, constructed. This includes where individuals have reinforced the devices with glass, wire, steel and other items.
Under the new laws, police will have the power to search a person or vehicle and seize a dangerous attachment device, if a police officer reasonably suspects the device has been used or is to be used to disrupt a relevant, lawful activity.
And police will have the power to deactivate, disassemble and dispose of anything that is a dangerous attachment device.