Southern Downs Regional Council enacts local law to prohibit unlawful protests
29 April 2019
Following a string of recent animal rights protests across the country and in the Southern Downs, Council has activated a local law that will help protect the region’s primary producers and businesses from unlawful activities.
Southern Downs Regional Council Local Laws Officers can now issue on-the-spot Penalty Infringement Notices (PIN) of up to a maximum of two (2) penalty units, or $261, to individuals engaging in prohibited or restricted activities under Section 5(4) of Local Law No.4.
In addition to Council issued fines, protestors engaging in unlawful activities could face fines of up to 20 penalty units, or $2610, from Queensland Courts and additional on-the-spot fines from the State Government of up to $652.
The move comes after vegan protestors from outside the region trespassed onto private property at Carey Brothers Abattoir in Yangan and a dairy farm in the Freestone Valley on Monday, 8 April.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said the harsh penalties will make protestors think twice before engaging in activities that will impact on Southern Downs residents and local businesses.
“Council is taking this issue very seriously because our residents’ safety and livelihoods are at risk,” Cr Dobie said.
“If protestors want to come to our region, break the law and disrupt business then they should be prepared to incur fines.
“People have the right to protest and have their opinions heard, but we need to make sure protests are done lawfully and don’t negatively impact on the lives and businesses of our residents.”
The State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) Code allows for local governments to issue on-the-spot infringement notices, and local governments can issue the fines to individuals or vehicles.
SDRC advises residents that the local law takes effect immediately and Council’s Local Laws Officers will issue fines to anyone breaching the law.
Council urges all local farmers and producers to remain vigilant about securing their property, and there are a few simple steps you can take if animal rights activists target your property.
For more information, contact SDRC on 1300 697 372 or visit SDRC’s website at sdrc.qld.gov.au.
To keep up to date with all the news and events across the Southern Downs, visit SDRC’s Facebook page.