Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton has today welcomed the introduction into the Tasmanian Parliament of the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Amendment Bill 2019 that will protect forestry workers from trespassers, threats or obstructions as they go about their business.

“The forest industry acknowledges the right of every Australian to engage in peaceful, lawful protest and Tasmania has a long history of environmental activism,” Mr Hampton said.

“However, this Bill will protect workers in forestry, agriculture, mining and other primary industries from being harassed or threatened by activists who seek to disrupt legitimate businesses.

“We respect the right to protest and free speech, but it must not come at the expense of the right to run your business, go to work or sell your goods and merchandise.

“The Tasmanian Government is to be commended – and especially Minister Guy Barnett – for keeping their promise to introduce this Bill following the High Court decision.

“For our industry it’s pretty easy:  if a protestor is doing nothing wrong then they have nothing to fear.  It’s fine to have your say but when it involves attacking workers and businesses, it’s just not on.”