Following threats to “break” the business model of Queensland’s valuable coal supply chain, State KAP Leader Robbie Katter has announced he’s investigating new Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws to put a stop to illegal protests that disrupt Queensland’s major industries.
Mr Katter said protest groups and green NGOs must be held accountable for the actions of their members and those who support them.
“We’ve seen the CoR used recently by Labor to put more obligation on individuals involved in running and owning mining and transport businesses and I think the same needs to apply to professional protest groups and green NGOs,” he said.
“If the head of any protest group or green NGO doesn’t take reasonable steps to stop their members acting illegally when carrying out campaigns they should face fines or even jail time.
“Individuals who manage and own businesses face fines and jail time if their employees don’t act within their obligations and I think the same should apply to these extreme protest groups whose entire existence seems to revolve around killing the Queensland economy.”
Under changes in 2016 to the Environmental Protection Act, a new Chain of Responsibility was created for resource companies that couldn’t meet financial liabilities for environmental damage.
During the Bill’s introduction then-Environment Minister, Steven Miles, said the changes were required to better protect “…the community and taxpayers from the decisions and actions of businesses that fail to take steps to meet their proper responsibilities”.
Mr Katter strongly argues that green groups that persist in disrupting mining and agriculture operations should be subject to the same treatment.
“Mining and agriculture are the engines of the Queensland economy, if extremist protestors disrupt and damage these industries there are huge economic and social costs to the people of Queensland.” he said.
Under existing chains of responsibility business owners, financiers, executives, managers and a broad range of other “related persons” are liable for breaches of a company’s responsibilities.
“It’s not only the protestors who tie themselves to train tracks who should be responsible, it’s as much the responsibility of the organisers, executives and donors that don’t take steps to discourage illegal behaviour,” Mr Katter said.
The Member for Traeger said he was looking into the application of a CoR that ensured the people running these extreme groups and organising the protests bear responsibility for the cost to taxpayers and the community.
“We’re currently looking at the feasibility of creating a new CoR specifically targeted at these extremist green groups,” he said.
“I think most of us are sick and tired of people who appear to have nothing better to do than stand around chanting about issues they have no real understanding of.
“When they say they want to “break” the mining industry or kill off live export, they don’t give a thought to the families or communities they’d also break.
“They’re real people’s jobs and livelihoods that these self-indulgent twerps are hell-bent on destroying and the Labor party appears to do nothing but pander to these groups.
“It appears the Labor Party no longer represents workers in Queensland – they only represent the ignorant fools whose selfish crusade achieves nothing more than making life more difficult for the rest of us.”