Feb 3, 2014

How Victoria is quietly riding roughshod over basic freedoms

If a bill passes Victorian Parliament this month police will have extraordinary powers to curtail public assembly. Lizzie O’Shea, associate in the social justice practice at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, says basic human rights are under attack.

Victoria’s Parliament is poised, without much fanfare or scrutiny, to pass a bill that would drastically increase police powers and severely curtail our basic human rights.

I’m talking about the Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill 2013. Haven’t heard of it? The bill was introduced last year during the Christmas rush and represents a significant expansion of the “move on” powers, which currently allow police officers to give a direction to a person or group to leave a public place for 24 hours. At present, there is a protest exception to these provisions, meaning they do not apply to pickets, demonstrations or speaking and publicising a point of view.

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13 thoughts on “How Victoria is quietly riding roughshod over basic freedoms

  1. aliso6

    poor fella, my state.

  2. Andybob

    I love the smell of freedom burning in the morning.

  3. zut alors

    The spirit of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen lives on.

  4. graybul

    Victorians can moan about this; joke about this; or, they can prioritize . . and ‘turn out’ on February 18 at 10am and peacefully deny their Govt. the right to under-mine existing freedoms.

  5. AR

    My worry is wetbacks escaping north over the Rio Depleted. Bomb the Snowy Dams!

  6. CML

    The tragedy is we are slowly but surely moving towards faci+m in this country, and the bogans have no idea what is about to happen to them.
    The time for apathy has well and truly passed. We need a revolution of sorts – and quickly! I don’t live in Victoria or Queensland, but I wish those people well.

  7. Agrippa

    Is this an article about civil liberties, (loss of), …or Ms O’Shea’s personal conflict with Daniel Grollo?

  8. Anon

    Full protest details here:

    The current trend towards repression of opposition protests and abandonment of principles such as freedom of association and freedom from surveillance in Australia and other Western democratic countries is truly disturbing. Agree with CML’s observation that we are on a fast track to fascism.

  9. klewso

    ….. When they came for me there was no one left to help ……

  10. Dubious Virtue

    Rights? Um… what are these mythical “rights” you speak of. We have none in Australia. We have an illusion of “rights” but excepting the right to life all others are curtailed by law.

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