I will briefly address the Roads and Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 and raise several concerns about it. Firstly, I agree wholeheartedly with the shadow Attorney General in relation to the bill being moved with such haste and certainly not with the usual amount of consultation or process that we go through. It is an important piece of legislation and one that should have been given a lot more time and consideration. As the Government tells us, the bill has been introduced to deal with the types of protests that we witnessed last week by Blockade Australia, which led to gridlock around our ports. Yet powers established by the bill cast a very wide net that threatens workers, unionists and community activists with potentially two years of jail time if they are found to have breached this proposed law.
I ask the Attorney General to guarantee that these laws will not be used and weaponised against workers, unionists or community activists. I ask him to articulate that and give that guarantee in his reply. I also acknowledge the shadow Attorney General's amendment, which is incredibly important. The shadow Attorney General described it as a carve out to protect industrial action from these provisions. That is non‑negotiable for the Labor Party. The Government despises peaceful industrial activity by working men and women of this State who belong to a trade union. For that reason this is such an important amendment. I am pleased that the shadow Attorney General was able to negotiate that with the Attorney General. It is important for us to remember—we should never forget—that the Parliament is a bastion of our democracy in this State. Every parliamentarian has a responsibility to protect those democratic freedoms, of which one is freedom of protest and assembly. I ask the Government to think very carefully before moving away from this principle and introducing laws that risk undermining those freedoms.