Better protections for Tasmanian workers and workplaces move step closer

Guy Barnett,Minister for Resources

Better protections for Tasmanian workers and workplaces moved another step closer tonight with the Police Offences Amendment (Workplace Protection) Bill 2022 passing the House of Assembly.

This Bill will protect the rights of workers and to deter unlawful interference with workplaces, by strengthening the law of trespass and obstruction, making it more easy to understand and enforce.

We have been elected at three consecutive elections with policies designed to protect the rights of workers and to deter unlawful interference with workplaces.

We have listened to the needs of business and we have seen the impact of unlawful protests on businesses and their employees. It costs money, it creates risk, and it can cause stress for the workers. In some cases there is potential for physical harm.

I want to reassure Tasmanians and be very clear, we respect every Tasmanians right to free speech and the legislation will not put in place anything that will limit lawful protesting.

This Bill won’t stop lawful protests outside hospitals, schools or restrict those wanted to make their views known on issues like climate change. It will not interrupt our democratic processes and it will not limit people’s ability to contribute to the state’s political and regulatory decision-making.

Tasmanians will still be entitled to protest and have their say.

What we want is to protect Tasmanian workers and their right to earn a living and I acknowledge Labor’s support for the Bill.

Intimidating, threatening, and endangering employees is not acceptable and we are pleased to have taken an important step to ensure our legislation is updated to stamp this out.

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