27 Jul 2018
Raquel Mustillo | Border Watch
Vocal Protesters thrown out of parliament
“SHAME” was the war cry of the 30-strong contingent of protesters after Liberal Party members crossed the floor to vote against Greens MLC Mark Parnell’s bill to legislate the moratorium on fracking.
After travelling 450km to watch the debate on the amendment, which sought to enshrine the Liberal Party’s 10-year ban on use of the controversial mining technique in the South East, the group interjected with cries of “disgraceful” and “disgusting”.
The bill was defeated in the upper house 17 to four.
Legislative Council president Andrew McLachlan, who had earlier warned protesters against applauding in the gallery following Mr Parnell’s closing comments, issued a final warning to the group they would be ejected from the chamber if they continued to interject.
The group left, with one protester shouting “how would you like a gas field in your backyard?”.
Mr McLachlan responded by issuing a directive to the chambers’ security to “make sure they are escorted out”.
Ahead of the vote, members of the alliance listened in silence to Greens MP Tammy Franks outline her support for the legislation, which she said was “essentially putting into a law a campaign promise”.
“There is no logical case for fracking our farmland,” she said.
“These practices harm our environment and our communities.
“While I know that commitments have been made by the Marshall Liberal government as part of their election promises to not allow fracking in the South East for at least 10 years, by putting it into legislation in this council and in this parliament we give those communities some certainty that promise will be honoured.
“We are certainly hoping that this bill will pass swiftly through the council tonight so that we can provide certainty and protection for those communities in the South East who have been calling long and hard and loud for this measure.
“Indeed, it has no social licence and I would note the Marshall government will have no social licence if it does not support this legislation.”
HOW THEY VOTED
FOOD NOT GAS: South East resident Warwick Hill was among the many demonstrators signalling their support for Greens MLC Mark Parnell’s bill to bolster the Liberal Party’s 10-year moratorium.