Michael Ferguson,Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly
Labor’s claims that a nurse protesting outside a hospital could be fined or even jailed are as untrue as they are hypocritical.
Section 5(2) of the legislation specifically excludes hospitals from the definition of a business premise.
Embarrassingly, if Michelle O’Byrne had bothered to read the Bill or waited until after her Departmental briefing on the legislation next week, she would know this.
The Bill does not stop nurses or anyone else speaking out or protesting on any matter.
An example of where this legislation would apply would be a protester who intentionally trespasses on a farm and intentionally impedes work.
The Bill seeks to implement the fundamental principle that, while people are free to protest, our laws should protect lawful business activities and their workers. If passed, it would apply only to actions which affect or are intended to affect the lawful rights of others.
Labor’s fabricated attack on the Workplaces Protection Bill is a poorly-disguised attempt to hide the fact that it remains locked in an anti-jobs coalition with the Greens.
The Labor Party could be standing with us in a coalition for jobs. Instead, it has elected to stand with the Greens, sacrificing jobs in favour of the protest vote.
It’s hard not to notice former Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne attempting to deceptively try to curry favour with LGH hospital workers – the very workplace where she closed ward 4D, sacked staff and took beds to offsite storage so they couldn’t be used by staff.