Tasmanian protesters avoid mandatory jail sentences

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Tasmanian protesters avoid mandatory jail sentences

Controversial Tasmanian legislation to stop protesters from hindering, obstructing or preventing business activity in has been passed by the Legislative Council. The government has traded off mandatory jail sentences for increased fines for repeat offenders.

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The Tasmanian government’s controversial legislation to stop protesters from hindering, obstructing or preventing business activity in Tasmania has been passed by the Legislative Council. The government agreed to trade off mandatory jail sentences for increased fines for repeat offenders.

The bill’s compulsory three-month jail sentence for repeat offenders has been removed, but the maximum jail sentence has been increased from two to four years. The courts will now have the discretion whether to impose a jail sentence.

While on-the-spot fines for first offenders have been vastly reduced from $2000 to $280, fines for repeat offenders have increased to $10,000.

In response to community concern at the initial wide coverage of the Act, the government also reduced its coverage to just five industries: forestry, mining, construction, manufacturing and agriculture.

The bill will return later this month to the House of Assembly where the government has a majority for it to be passed.

Tasmanian Parliament Votes and Proceedings 6 November 2014

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