All In A Day’s Work

All In A Day’s Work

Tasmania Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations Jeremy Rockliff

Libs To Legislate For Right To Work Without Hindrance

Victor P Taffa

The Liberals today introduced legislation into the Parliament aimed at protecting the rights of workers to attend their workplaces without being hindered by protestors, Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations Jeremy Rockliff said today.

“Over recent months, we have unfortunately seen an increase in protests particularly forest protests which have prevented people from accessing their worksites.” Mr. Rockliff said.

“This is unacceptable. Just as every person has the right to protest freely, so too should every person have the right to enter and work at their workplace.”

“Currently, while protestors can be charged for trespass, they can’t easily be charged for offences such as blockading access to a workplace if they don’t actually trespass in doing so.” Mr. Rockliff said.

Specifically, the bill I have introduced today makes it an offence to:

  • Obstruct a person entering or leaving a workplace;
  • Create a health or safety fear in a workplace;
  • Endanger safety in a workplace;
  • Conspire to undertake one of the events outlined above.

“The bill provides for penalties of up to $30,000 if the provisions are breached. Importantly, the bill also expressly preserves the right to lawful industrial action under the auspices of the Commonwealth Fair Work Act.” Mr. Rockliff said.

“While I don’t expect the Greens to support our bill given their ongoing support for forest protests, given her previous public statements, I would hope that Premier Giddings and the ALP will support these sensible measures.” Mr. Rockliff said.