King Scott to ban climate protests

It’s all about free speech with the Coalition so long as it doesn’t upset their mates:

Scott Morrison has flagged new laws to crack down on activist protesters who target mining businesses, declaring “absolutist environmentalism is testing the limits of the right to protest”.

The Prime Minister will use a speech to the Queensland Resources Council in Brisbane on Friday to attack the “new breed of radical activism” which he will say is putting mining and other key industries at risk.

“The right to protest does not mean there is an unlimited licence to disrupt people’s lives and disrespect your fellow Australians,” Mr Morrison will say.

Yeh, it does. If they over do it they’ll lose their campaign of influence.

That’s free speech and democracy for you.

Heard of it, King Scott?

Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. he should be encouraging them to protest out the front of the embassies of the world’s two largest polluters China and India.

    • Or the outside all of the anglosphere embassies since they represent the majority of co2 generation over time.

      • @iris lol, what are clean air laws that Western countries have had in place since the early 1970’s?? why can’t one see the sky in Chinese and Indian cities?? why is there an annual article about the dangerous levels of air pollution in Beijing and New Delhi???

    • That would be hypocritical as both those countries are looking overachieve on their Paris commitments and raise them while Australia, a wealthy country is not even looking likely of achieving theirs.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        True – but the main reason we’re not meeting our own targets is because of all those same said Indians and Chinese who’ve been imported into the country…. but then again, whose fault is that…. suggests that the environmental protesters should be protesting at the Australian Govt for running such high immigration.

      • @Steve1036 overachieving?? yet New Delhi and Beijing are so heavily polluted there’s a yearly story in the MSM which reports how residents are advised not to go outdoors due to dangerous levels of air pollution……

        • There is a difference between greenhouse gas emissions and smog, Smog hanging over a city can be bad for your health but not be a major contributor to overall greenhouse gases….

          Saying we dont have to worry about it because they make more is a little bit disingenuous because in a lot of cases we sell them the fossil fuels ( or at least the companies mining it do ). If we were not so dependent on the cash then they may be convinced to try alternatives, maybe if we decarbonise our economy as fast as possible we can help reduce the cost of doing so and help them to follow suit.

          • The90kwbeastMEMBER

            Australia can never be a leader in tackling climate change when our entire economy depends on us exporting coal and other resources that create carbon emissions. It’s hypocritical to the extreme.

      • “per capita” is irrelevant, the amount of air pollution India and China create is the main driver of climate change, just go and visit any city in India and China and tell me if you can see the sky..

        • Ahem … developed countries initiated things first up, its called the industrial revolution, read about it. That lasted till shortly after WWII and legacy costs started to bite with environmental regulation or torts against polluters. Bush Jr actually ran on an environmental platform to steal Gores thunder until once in office, he was then notified by the economic advisers it would kill the economy. Eventually the tow’fer of exporting both the labour and environmental costs was kicked off with the Larry Summers memo – reminiscent of Milton’s good works for the developer lobby back in the day.

          China and India are only going through the same economic experience that anglophone counties did previously, not to mention the global consumption of resources for a considerable time has been predominantly the U.S., so its hard to argue that India and China are creating all the issues when its being shipped to the West.

  2. Omg what a bunch of pansies we’ve turned into. As far as I’m concerned the disruption from environmental protests and eventually just general youth discontent hasn’t even got started in this country and we’re already at banning it stage???

    Not to mention being able to protest is, I think, a fundamental right. It’s also an important part of a society’s communication tool kit. It’s whatyou resort to when you aren’t being listened to by other segments of the community, and it’s now obvious that these days in Australia we are incapable of listening to the opinions/ideas/fears of other sections who have different opinions/ideas/fears.

    This is a very sad development and perfectly illustrates that there is very little “community” in Australia at a macro level and that we the people are just viewed as economic units who need to shut up, have no personal opinions and should just get a job (any job) lie to get a loan and mindlessly consume.

    Well f you I’m not doing most of that

    • @PopCod Morrison is trying to position himself as a “rational centrist” where the aim is to smear both Nationalists and Leftists as extremists and I don’t agree with Leftists on their agenda, however banning them protesting is not a how a functioning democratic society works and I say this knowing full well these same Leftist’s would dis-enfrachise people like me if they were ever to govern.

      • Absolute rubbish, the left has always been a champion of free speech. Maybe some of these youf don’t understand its history but left wing = free speech. right wing = do as I say, its the natural order of things.

        Left-wing politics is all about social equality and egalitarianism, ergo free speech.

        Right-wing political thinking holds that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, ergo Less free speech. It’s like that and that’s the way it is.

        • @3iris position you defend (probably dont realise) is Marxist and Elitist. There’ll always be social order.
          Not sure where you are or ypur info sources but its the Left that hates free speech. To just believe what you are told/read is to be brainwashed. Whether on right or left.

          • Free speech is a product of liberal and progressive (ie: not conservative) political thought.

            It comes from the same schools of thought around things like secularism, freedom of religion, equality, democracy – ie: liberalism.

        • rob barrattMEMBER

          Ah 3ris
          Like in East Germany? Stalin’s Russia (or Putin’s for that matter)? Jinping’s China? Trigg’s AHRC? etc etc. etc etc. Yes, the Left are certainly Champions of Free Speech.

        • 3iris lol, sure pal, your agenda is so anti-human and anti-civilisational the only way you can implement it is by imposing your will on others without their consent, and those who resist are disenfranchised by leftist social media mobs who operate in the same way as organised criminals do when extorting money.

          • ok you lot, Left Wing isn’t Totalitarianism. Its New vs old, please read the definitions and history of these terms instead of believing everything you read from right wing websites that support your internal bias. Yes regimes have hidden their dictatorships up with rhetoric about equality and freedom then implemented autocratic rule thats a given. Totalitarianism is not left right its top to the Libertarian bottom.

            Nature created neither servants nor masters, equality isn’t about the destruction of social order, its about allowing the equality of opportunities to all. While it may be uncomfortable I dont pretend to understand aboriginal people, women, q33rs, people of colour as I’ve never stepped a day in their shoes but they deserve the same opportunities as the heterosexual fat old man typing this. Equality is nothing to be scared of.

            There may be people on the left with crap ideas about lots of issues, as there are crazies in all political spheres and for that matter in all walks of life but that doesn’t change the left wings goals of equality for all.

            Meanwhile the right wing of politics has always believed that the slavery of the weak is collateral damage for the prosperity of the few. They are quite comfortable with that, until they somehow lose their privileged status then they suddenly become rather more egalitarian in their thinking, funny that.

            Left and Right is better considered as unorthodox versus orthodox, of change over stability. Luckily for all us peons the eternal struggle of the weak versus the powerful, of new over old, is coming to a head as we charge into a future of limited resources and the fruition of an Extinction Level event we’ve been so keen to trigger.

            So while you think my agenda is anti-civilizational the reality is the reverse. Change has to come, its just a case of how many people get to live in the new world, and its general state. Power politics is far from optimal, capitalism has provided the mirage of freedom for along time but as life tends to be the fabled statement by Fukuyama that history has ended, was really the bell of the top of capitalism. From 92 onwards its been clear the system can not survive. 27 years later and three heart attacks I wonder how long we can go on for without some serious change.

  3. HnH why do you equate freedom to protest as freedom to disrupt and encroach on personal, social or corporate liberties? This is becoming more commonplace as intelligentsia and journalists are intentionally conflating issues to make people react.

      • Clueless.

        A right to protest peacefully is not a right to:

        Breach the peace
        Cause traffic hazards
        Assault people
        Cause obstruction

        You clearly didn’t read / comprehend maddz’ post.

        • Joseph S, Protest is inevitably disruptive and chaotic. It may be inconvenient but people have the right to be a pain in the arse. The protests were benign and didn’t require horses, or police throwing coward punches. Considering how much we ignore people in modern politics I’m surprised more people aren’t fighting for their kids future. Good on them. Do Corporates have liberties they certainly don’t seem to have any responsibilities to go alongside them do they? You know like caring about the communities they operate in. They are there for one reason alone shareholder wealth, everything else is externalised.

          • “people have the right to be a pain in the arse” – Not if they are breaking the law.

            Just because I don’t think a right to protest should have limits, doesn’t mean I agree with a lack of corporate responsibility or the police response. This is conflating issues as maddz pointed out is an issue in the original comment.

          • @3ris… clever. Trying to shift the narrative. But still falling foul of the criticism I made plain above. Choose a position. Are you libertarian or are you totalitarian? How far is it acceptable to infringe the lives and economic freedoms of others for your right to protest?

          • rofl so me arguing for the right to protest is now totalitarian, and you defending Corporates is libertarian? OMG you are so lost. The whole concept of totalitarianism is about taking over every facet, that doesnt have to be formal like under Stalin, it can be hidden as it is with the modern corporate kleptocracies we are living in. The only voice that is tolerated is wealth and power, journalism runs cover, etc. You have patsies fighting for individual rights which is brilliant for the status quo as it reinforces the reformational tendancies, but no one is fighting against the fascism we are all under, whether it be explicit as the east or covert as it is in the west.

          • Are you libertarian or are you totalitarian? How far is it acceptable to infringe the lives and economic freedoms of others for your right to protest?

            A libertarian would place zero legal restrictions on “protest”.

            In a libertarian world, those impacted by “protest” would have to sue the protestors directly for… something.

            (Though, in a libertarian world the protestors would also have to pay the owner of the street – since there’d be no such thing as a public street – for permission to be in it protesting, so… swings and roundabouts.)

      • can I yell Fire in a crowded theatre?
        Disrupting others is not free speech.
        Encroaching on others ability to freely congregate is not free speech.
        If it is OK for the protesters to prevent the mining companies from having access to a building they are legally allowed to by violence, then it is ok for the mining companies to employ thugs to use violence to prevent the protesters from preventing access.
        Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.
        Or much like the PC crowd, is it free speech, but only of the type I accept.

    • If you hate protest that much, you can always move to Xinjiang in China. There are no protester there, as they’re all locked up in re-education camps. This is what King Scott wants to do in Australia with his new law.

    • But maddz, people should be allowed to break the law if I agree with them. You know, free speech.

    • HnH why do you equate freedom to protest as freedom to disrupt and encroach on personal, social or corporate liberties?

      Because that is the history of protest.
      Emancipation. Suffrage. Workers rights. Heck, women being allowed to drink in bars. All required protest and significant disruption to achieve.

      • Being of simple mind (as many are demonstrating) is not same as having commonsense.
        Right to protest ‘ok’ – settled position. Yes there’s a history of constructive protests. Change the law where you can.
        There’s no right to hurt, harm and abuse others. Period. Only crazy people think so.
        Panic is the bastion of the Left and Extreme Right.

        • You seem to think this history of “constructive protests” you are agreeing were OK (I think, it’s hard to tell) were any less “hurtful, harmful and abusive” than these ones.

  4. “absolutist environmentalism is testing the limits of the right to protest”.


    A group of people doing basically nothing more than standing around is “testing the limits” ?

    Imagine how these fvckers would react if we ever got any real protests under way.

    But, yeah, China is the big threat to Australian democracy. 🙄

  5. We don’t have free speech in Australia, but even if we did, WTF does free speech have to do with protest activities which PHYSICALLY disrupt business activities?

    • This is nothing more than Morrison at his d1ckhead best. States already have laws that deal with the intent to breach the peace.

      As noted earlier, breach of the peace is not an offence, but instead it is the basis for the execution of the common law power which prevents public disorder. Furthermore, breach of the peace is one element of other public order offences such as unlawful assembly or riot.
      In attempting to establish what breach of the peace entails, we can turn to the leading authority of the concept which can be found in R v Howell, where Watkins LJ in the English Court of Appeal, defined breach of the peace in the following way:

      “There is breach of the peace whenever harm is actually done or is likely to be done to a person or in his presence to his property or a person is in fear of being so harmed through an assault, an affray, a riot, unlawfully assembly or other disturbance.”

      Broadly speaking, breach of the peace as defined in Howell has been generally accepted in Australian common law.

  6. What an appropriate venue to announce this given Ian McFarland is the CEO of the Queensland Resources Council.

  7. I’m all for peaceful protest and I’d like to see a helluva lot more of it, and even do a bit of it myself, but some of the footage I’ve seen from Melbourne has shown protestors getting physical with people who are just going about their business which is not a good look. Assaulting people in the street is stupid, and doesn’t do any cause any good.

    That being said, I think existing laws are more than adequate for dealing with people who want to go the biff in public. Scomo once again demonstrates that he’s an authoritarian tool.

    • Its the usual scenario of using one incident or a small portion of cases used to create a blanket ‘fix’

  8. It just goes to show how useless the (fake) Green party is in Australia. If they focused on the environment instead of silly “woke” politics they’d have all these protesters in their camp.

    Australia needs a real environment party, preferably one that limits immigration.

  9. My concern is that, for the current bunch of stoic politicians, upsetting the status quo AT ALL is excessive, and in their mind deserves an authoritarian rebuke…

    Sure, if people get violent, then book ’em Danno, but the right to protest in a very important function in a democracy, when politicians and/or the public aren’t listening.

  10. why dont australians protest something that actually matters or something that they could like, actually change

    even if australia cut all emissions tomorrow and reverted to the stone age the climate would still be f$$ked

    we cant do jack about it

    why not just torch some city blocks like in hong kong over housing prices or something, rather than showing up by the thousand over b.s like this or CHANGE THE DATE HUUHUTHUHUHUH

    if ppl actually showed up to protest living standards id be there molotoving police cars with them

    we are dumb af and deserve everything bad that happens to us

  11. Right to this , right to that, get real people, there are no rights to anything in the Australian constitution.
    The right to “free speech ” is not written there, the High Court ruled that Free Speech is “inferred”.
    Without a Bill of Rights we have none o the vaunted Rights of a free society, and our parliamentarians of all stripes refuse to “dilute their power” by granting us a Bill of Rights.

  12. “Where is the Prime Minister” or “Who is the Prime Minister”
    The guy does nothing for this country
    Yesterday he played cricket
    Today he is shooting down right to protest
    Tomorrow he is going to church
    Wasting taxpayers money
    Destroy these parties

  13. If the law gets pass the Senate, it’s game over for ‘lock the gate’. The protesters in the CBD is merely a sideshow, the farmers opposing mining near their property are the real target.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Yep, for an industry that accounts for 3% of GDP, the mining lobbypunches well above it’s weight.

  14. Meh. Gets back to equating business interests with the national interest. It’s the job of business to act in it’s own interest, individuals to act in their own best interest and government to stand with the national interest. But government increasingly views business interests and the national interest as synonymous, so individuals can get thrown under a bus.

  15. Potato head Dutton was on TV last night and he explained that these werent protesters but people who “Hated our whole way of life” … this has nothing to do with protest and a lot to do with the

  16. Its interesting how many people on this forum and other cant comprehend how and why protests work.

    Protest are never a polite call to be heard, they are about creating enough disruption to gain attention to your cause. They are about showing those in a position to change that there is an issue that the general community considers important enough to make a stand about.

    protests are a fundamental part of the democratic process and often the only way to influence the agenda of the political class. With elections the politicians detail out what they think we should be concerned about and we vote based on that, we as an electorate don’t get a lot of opportunity to voice our concerns in a sizable manner outside the issues presented to us prior to elections…

    The fact that people are complaining that there is a personal impact on them smell of privilege and personal elitism. Everyone has a right to an opinion and just because you have decided that in your opinion there is no merit to the protest doesn’t mean your right.

    Many of the cultural and economic benefits we as a nation have are due to the right to protest, either in the form of a strike for better wages or safety conditions or other forms.

    If enough numbers are attending the protest then there is enough support. The fact they want to shut down the protest is because they don’t want you to know lots of people think its an issue as they don’t want to have to do anything about it.

    • Out here in Rednecksville/Dumbfuckistan the usual middle age fat white blokes who haven’t experienced vibrancy were whinging and moaning about young Greta and the kids protesting, should be at school and all that.Meanwhile I’ve got kids that age,and have pointed out to them that their the ones that are going to pay for it so don’t hold back, get stuck in, it’s your future. Went down like a lead balloon when I said as much down at my local, in the complete silence that followed I asked if they new the history of the 8 hour day and the protests over years that were involved in that, more silence, no wonder the National party keep getting elected.

      • This is the irony, 100 years ago Australia was the leading light of Egalitarianism, look at us now just self interest leaners everywhere you look.

    • My Father is the same, benefited for over half his life from the success of those “protests” but hates unions because he ran a business for a few years and unions protesting cost them time on delivering projects.

      I am not a fan of the unions as they currently stand, especially the SDA ( which is a corporate shill for a union to give the workers the assurance they have a union without actually having one ) but without the work of the early movement we would still be working 80 weeks for pittance while the rent seeking owners bathe in caviar.

      Problem is not enough people have enough grasp of history to understand the need for this ability to protest.

      • Don’t worry, another generation or 2 and unions or not we’ll be back to the 80 hour work week.
        Your value to the economy that allowed those advances to be achieved has been removed by outsourcing to the third world and automation.
        Black death back in the 13th century saw an increase in workers rights and pay as well, due to a shrinking labour pool increasing bargaining power. Increasing technology improved labours bargaining power for a while but is now reducing it again.
        This is the most likely future like it or not.
        And interesting story about these issues

  17. Banning the right to protest as it’s disruptive to society is simply a way for the government to ban the right to strike on industrial relations matters. Environmental protesters are just a distraction, the real targets are the unions

  18. Hilarious catch 22.
    You can protest to make your point heard but only if its done quietly and i the privacy of your own home.

  19. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Is Scummo just using the street protests as an excuse for legislation to shut down far reaching online protest groups like Sleeping Giants? They’ve been fairly effective and we already know he despises groups like Knitting Nannas.

  20. bolstroodMEMBER

    The best response to this insult from Morrison is bigger, far bigger street demos.
    and keep doing them ’til he gets it.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Meh, the idiot believes in the rapture. If he sees angry hordes heading his way he’ll probably sit there with a smirk and a hand shandy and await the end of days.

    • The fact he’s trying to shut it down, shows he fears real change. And those who back him are very afraid of losing their monopoly powers over the Australian Economy. Energy companies are afraid of renewables and they are afraid of alternatives because if any country can make something like solar work, it’s Australia. But we’re captured by the vested interests.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        I agree he is acting this way becuase the protests are effective, and he and his mining mates fear them.
        We are not Captured by the vested interests, the political system is, and that can change.

      • China PlateMEMBER

        Not sure he really cares about the damage – or lack of – these protests are reeking. His stand looks good in front of his constituents or his faithful on bended knees, if you will, and that’s the whole point. It wins elections

        • Ding ding ding. We have a winner.
          Making things that are already illegal, illegal again with new legislation is like having a royal commission.
          It’s something you do to look like you are doing something, while not actually doing anything at all.

          • bolstroodMEMBER

            the Competition and Consumer Act includes an explicit exemption that allows for secondary boycotts for campaigns related to ‘environmental protection’.

  21. Yeah … Morrison’s views on freedoms come from his canons, good luck with that because they have Galt’s Gulch in the sky …

  22. John Howards Bowling Coach

    Morrison is doing the Lord’s Work. His imaginary leader in the sky wouldn’t hard humanity don’t you know?

    This is why religious leaders are a handbrake on science and the reality that we’re on a fast track to environmental collapse, they fundamentally don’t accept that humans can do something, because their Lord is in control.

    It is seriously scary stuff when you digest just how badly we’ve destroyed the place already and how population growth globally leads to exponential rates of damage. I see direct links back to religion with population growth. But it is a dilemma as the poor majority of the world need faith for a sense of hope in their hopeless lives, and banning religion such as China has opened a void to be filled by naked greed.

    Solutions aren’t so easy to find, but having more kids is certainly not the answer, neither is letting a religious zealot become the PM