Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Energy Minister pushes for government spying on behalf of energy companies

Protests against coalmining so far have been peaceful. Resources and Energy Department briefings show that only four protests have interfered briefly with electricity generation.

ASIO eyes green groups, The Age, Philip Dorling, April 12, 2012 AUSTRALIA’S leading counter-terrorism agency has been providing intelligence to the federal government on environmental groups that campaign against coalmining.

Greens leader Bob Brown said yesterday it was ”intolerable that the Labor government was spying on conservation groups” and condemned the ”deployment of ASIO as a political weapon” against peaceful protests……

ASIO is exempt from freedom of information laws and is described on
its website as ”the only agency in the Australian intelligence community authorised in the normal course of its duties to undertake investigations into the activities of Australian persons”. Other FOI documents confirm that Mr Ferguson pressed then attorney-general Robert McClelland in September 2009 to see whether ”the
intelligence-gathering services of the Australian Federal Police” could be used to help energy companies handle increasing activity by coalmining protesters…..

The still-classified December 2010 briefing to Mr Ferguson by his
department’s energy security branch followed an intelligence warning
about a planned anti-coal protest in NSW’s Hunter Valley. The
department then ensured that the industry body Australian Energy
Market Operator and power companies Macquarie Generation and TransGrid
were alerted to a ”peaceful mass action” near the Bayswater power
station.

Seventy-three protesters who sat on a rail line were arrested and
fined $250. Most convictions were overturned on appeal…..

Protests against coalmining so far have been peaceful. Resources and Energy Department briefings show that only four protests have interfered briefly with electricity generation.
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/asio-eyes-green-groups-20120411-1wsba.html#ixzz1rryqYGxj

April 12, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, secrets and lies | ,

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