Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Martin Ferguson pushing for increased surveillance of environmental activists

The Greens leader, Bob Brown, condemned the surveillance, saying it was “intolerable that the federal Labor government is spying on conservation groups” and wanting to “criminalise political protest”……

AFP spies targeting green activists SMH, Philip Dorling January 7, 2012 THE Resources and Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, has secretly pushed for increased surveillance by federal police intelligence officers of environmental activists who have been protesting peacefully at coal-fired power stations and coal export facilities. Documents released to the Herald under freedom of information laws confirm the police are “continually monitoring” anti-coal mining and
other environmental groups. Much of the intelligence collection is carried out for the federal police by a private contractor, the National Open Source Intelligence Centre, in Melbourne.

The documents reveal that Mr Ferguson, prompted by lobbying from energy companies, has urged stronger criminal penalties against protests that disrupt “critical energy infrastructure”.

The Greens leader, Bob Brown, condemned the surveillance, saying it was “intolerable that the federal Labor government is spying on conservation groups” and wanting to “criminalise political protest”……

Moves to criminalise protest actions arose after Brian Spalding, the
chief executive of what was then the National Electricity Market
Management Company, complained to the ministerial council on energy in
July 2008 that existing penalties did not dissuade ”activists from
illegal activity at energy infrastructure sites”.

Mr Ferguson referred the issue to the standing committee of attorneys-general, which undertook a review of relevant legislation.
Mr Ferguson’s department has refused to release the committee’s review of penalties, completed in November 2009, on the grounds that revealing “gaps and inadequacies” in the law would incite ”further protest activities”.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/afp-spies-targeting-green-activists-20120106-1pogq.html#ixzz1ioHD5KSI

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January 7, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties |

1 Comment »

  1. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between the political jibber-jabber of Minister Ferguson and dear leader of the coalition – one Tony Abbott.

    The duplicitous Mr Ferguson too is a catchall for corporate polluters and rapacious swine in general.

    Comeuppance: Forced to smoke 100 coal/mercury-dipped cigarettes by his mommy, given cement shoes and used as a marker for the contaminated water levels at the Ranger tailings dam.

    Comment by Sniff Test | January 7, 2012 | Reply


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