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.