Sunday, 15 May 2016


The Grafton Nannas delivered their letter objecting to the draconian anti-protester laws to the office of Chris Gulaptis, Member for Clarence, during their knit-in on Wednesday  11 May.  The text of the letter is printed below.

NSW Government Laws Against Protesters

Members of the Grafton Loop of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas are very concerned at your Government's new laws imposing heavy penalties on protesters.

These are aimed particularly at the concerned citizens who protest against coal and gas-mining companies.  They were obviously introduced at the behest of the mining industry which we, along with many other community members, believe has far too much influence on governments.

The Nannas regard these draconian laws as an infringement of civil rights.

We understand that protesters may face fines of $5500 (an increase from $550) for trespass and could face up to 7 years jail for interfering with mining operations.

While penalties have been increased dramatically for protesters, the penalties for serious breaches by mining companies have been drastically reduced so that they are a mere "slap on the wrist".  For example, mining without authority, which under the former laws was a $1.1 million fine plus $110,000 a day for a company if successfully prosecuted in court, is now "punished" with a $5000 penalty notice.

Furthermore the Nannas are appalled that these new laws give police the unprecedented powers to search vehicles and confiscate equipment which in their opinion may be used for a lock on.

It appears that NSW is heading in the direction of becoming a police state where civil rights are trashed.

Favouring mining companies has long been a policy of NSW governments but your Government is certainly outdoing the pro-mining bias of previous governments.

It's very obvious to the Nannas that your Government's priorities lie with the big polluting end of town.  While Minister Roberts and the Premier may think that these harsh laws will stifle community opposition, we assure you that you are mistaken.

The Nannas, along with other members of the community, have a right to object to developments which threaten the environment and human health and will continue to do so.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


After a long rest the Grafton Nannas have returned to the street fired up about the draconian laws Premier Mike Baird and Resources Minister Anthony Roberts have legislated.  These laws are designed to discourage the community from protesting against mining - particularly CSG and unconventional gas mining.

The Nannas met today at the usual spot outside the office of local MP, Chris Gulaptis, Member for Clarence.

To emphasise their point about the threat these laws pose to civil liberties in NSW, the Nannas chained themselves together using knitted chains.  As one tired Nanna pointed out, "It's not easy knitting these chains.  I've been so busy the last few days that I haven't had any time for nanna naps.  I'm tuckered out and just want to get back to some straight knitting!!"

Part way through the knit-in the Nannas were greeted by a very unusual visitor who claimed his name was Neville Bogan.  Neville, who claimed to be an "old mate" of our local member (which the Nannas doubted),  kept the rather astounded Nannas entertained with some unlikely tales and cheeky banter before he  disappeared around the corner.

Neville Bogan, itinerant entertainer!

Some time later the Nannas were joined by a visitor from The Daily Examiner who was interested to hear why we had returned to knit outside Mr Gulaptis' office.  As well as discussing their concerns, the Nannas told him that they were delivering a letter to Mr Gulaptis which clearly stated why they were there.

The Nannas enjoyed the  outing and decided that the government's attack on civil liberties meant that they needed to return to regular knit-ins.  As one Nanna said sadly as they packed up before heading to the coffee shop, "These politicians are really very slow learners.  You'd think they would have worked out by now that gas-mining was a no-go because of community opposition.  But here they are introducing fascist-type laws to stop protesters.  Shows they still think they can foist gas-mining on us."