(1) Is it true that NSW Police visited homes of climate activists including activists associated with Blockade Australia, warning them that they will be arrested if they attend an unauthorised protest at the International Mining and Resources Conference last week?
(2) How many activists were visited?
(3) How did NSW Police determine who to visit?
(4) On what basis did NSW Police consider this pre-emptive action against potential peaceful assembly necessary?
(5) Was NSW Police contacted by any organisation or company requesting action against potential protesters ahead of the conference?
(a) If so, which organisations/companies requested this action?
(6) What questions were asked of climate activists?
(a) What warnings were given?
(7) Is the Government aware of reports that climate activists were told that it would be unlawful to protest if a Form 1 is not submitted and that they could be arrested for simply attending?
(8) What assessment has the Government made of the validity of such claims?
(9) What response will the Government provide to Amnesty International which has raised concerns that these visits are “intimidating activists who have exercised their human rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association, and their families”?
(10) What commitment will the Government make to cease these visits?
I am advised:
(1) A prevention and disruption strategy was adopted by the NSW Police Force involving members of Blockade Australia who were subject to current court-imposed bail restrictions excluding them from entering the Sydney CBD, associating with other known members and contacting other members, for the purpose of reminding them of their bail conditions.
(2) A total of 100 homes were visited from the 93 people identified, with 28 people spoken to by Police.
(3) Police identified individuals involved in the 2019 Melbourne protests, members of Blockade Australia subject to current court-imposed bail conditions and potential Blockade IMARC protestors.
(4) The purpose of these visits was to provide education on recent legislative changes under the Roads Act 1993, to provide information about the Form 1 process required in NSW (where a notice of intention to hold a public assembly is required to be provided to the Commissioner of Police under the Summary Offences Act 1988), and to remind those on court-imposed bail of their bail conditions.
(6) Persons spoken to by Police were offered a Form 1 to complete, which would provide notice, in writing, of intention to hold a public assembly under the Summary Offences Act 1988. For an authorised public assembly to occur the Form 1 notice would require particulars of a proposed public assembly to be authorised by the Commissioner of Police and to ensure public safety during any public assembly. Warnings were given with regards to the provisions of the new legislation under Section 144G of the Roads Act 1993, in addition to the Form 1 process in NSW.
(7) to (10)
Potential protesters were advised that if a Form 1 had not been submitted to the NSW Police Force as outlined in the Summary Offences Act 1988, then this event may constitute an unauthorised public assembly.
The Parliament of New South Wales acknowledges and respects the traditional lands of all Aboriginal people, and pays respects to all Elders past and present. We acknowledge the Gadigal people as the traditional custodians of the land on which the Parliament of New South Wales stands.