Herald Sun: Protesters storm State Parliament angry about new government ‘move on’ legislation. Annika Smethurst. 12 March 2014
Debate in State Parliament was suspended last night as protesters angry about the Government’s “move on” legislation stormed the Upper House.
Up to 20 protesters, including those involved in the East West blockade, entered the Legislative Council public gallery shortly after 8pm and began chanting and yelling at members of Parliament.
Members were debating the Government’s Summary Offences Bill which broadens police powers to “move on” protesters who limit access to a businesses, obstruct people or traffic and cause fear of violence.
The new laws will also boost the penalty for breaching a move-on order.
The protesters refused to leave the chamber when asked by security claiming the new laws will limit free speech and the right to peaceful protest.
Debate was suspended shortly after 9pm as the protesters continued to chant and hurl abuse.
Police and extra Protective Service Officers were called and protesters were forcibly removed from the chamber.
After the incident Health minister David Davis called on President Bruce Atkinson to “review security at Parliament House and ensure members can conduct debate in peace and without threats or thuggish behaviour”.
He said it was one of the most remarkable incidents he had seen in his years in parliament.
Police confirmed they were called with about 20 protesters in the public gallery.
“Police and PSO’s spoke to the protesters,’’ a spokeswoman said.
“A number of the protesters left however three refused to leave and were removed from the gallery by police. All three of them are expected to be charged on summons with refusing to leave a parliamentary precinct.”