8 March 2016

The Liberal-National Government sensationally refused to rule out arresting and forcibly removing the Northern River’s peaceful protest group – the Knitting Nannas.

When asked a direct question in the Parliament today, the Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts made it clear the Knitting Nannas won’t be safe from new anti-mining protest laws proposed by the Liberals and Nationals.

During question time today, Labor asked Minister Roberts:

“Will you guarantee that the Government’s anti-mining protest laws will not see the forcible removal and arrest of peaceful community protesters, like the Knitting Nannas?”

Answer: “No.”

The new laws being proposed by the Baird-Grant Government will increase punishment for protesters from $550 to $5,500.

Police will also be given powers to issue “move on” orders.

The Knitting Nannas Against Gas started almost four years ago in the Northern Rivers.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley visited the group during the 2015 election campaign to announce Labor’s policy to ban CSG mining in Northern Rivers region of NSW.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Opposition Luke Foley

“The Knitting Nannas are Gandhi-like in their commitment to peaceful protesting.

“It’s ludicrous that the Minister won’t protect a group of seniors who are simply expressing their concerns about the impacts of CSG mining.

“The group represents the strong sentiment of the Northern Rivers community that CSG mining is not welcome.”