QRC supports new law to crack down on dangerous rail protests

20 August 2019

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s announcement of new powers to crack down on extremist activists who are risking their own lives and the lives of others with their reckless tactics.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the new offence to prevent dangerous devices being used to shut down public thoroughfares and infrastructure was an important measure to protect everyday citizens simply going about their lives and doing their jobs.

“QRC supports the right of every Queenslander to protest peacefully. But by locking on to rail lines or blocking trains, activists clearly cross the line to becoming a danger to themselves, to the safety of train drivers and a menace to the wellbeing of the entire community,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“There have been too many near misses from reckless activists who disregard safety by blocking railway lines or roads.

“Safety is the number one priority for everyone who works in or with the resources industry.

“The careless actions of protestors who disrupt rail lines make a mockery of those safety standards. But hypocritically at the same time those reckless activists are relying on the strict safety environment and skilled staff who work on the rail network to prevent a tragedy.

“Protestors cannot be allowed to flout the law at their own choosing and to continually disrupt lawful business and people going about their day-to-day lives.

“This new power is an important step, but there is more to be done to address the range of disruptive and dangerous tactics activists are using on rail, roads and other infrastructure.

“The QRC calls on the entire Parliament to support the Criminal Code (Trespass Offences) Amendment Bill put forward by the LNP to crack down on activists who take part in illegal trespass.”

Media contact: Anthony Donaghy 0412 450 360