Hearings into QLD’s controversial new laws to crack down on protesters will begin after being fast-tracked following months of disruptive protests across Brisbane.
The new laws aim to put a stop the use of so-called “dangerous devices” by demonstrators who lock themselves into disruptive positions in busy locations.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said new police disruption powers would be the most critical part of the proposed new laws.
They would allow police to search and seize the devices before they are used, he said on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts said he supports the introduction of the new laws.
He said senior police have told him there have been over 20 incidents of booby-trapped devices, which could harm emergency service workers who cut protesters free.
But Australian Lawyers for Human Rights president Kerry Weste said the organisation condemns the Queensland government’s plan to push the laws through the state’s single house of parliament.
“We are very concerned that the proposed truncated process for considering the Bill evidences a lack of regard for due and democratic process,” Mr Weste said.
Queensland’s sole Greens MP Michael Berkman said on social media that state politicians received about 500 pages of submissions at about 5pm on Thursday, ahead of the parliamentary hearing on Friday.
Thirty-five people were arrested in Brisbane on Thursday while protesting as part of week-long demonstrations by climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion.
One demonstration on Thursday included 12 protesters locking themselves to a catamaran filled with concrete at a busy intersection.