An anti-coalbed methane (CBM) activist group has been banned from using a room in Australia’s parliament house.
According to the Clerk of the Parliament’s office, the Lock the Gate Alliance had exhibited a “pattern of behaviour” in recent months that led to the ban.
It was a “rarity” for events to be cancelled in such a banner, the spokesperson for the Clerk said.
Speaker Fiona Simpson said Lock the Gate had contravened the Parliamentary Service By-law 2013.
One of the group’s “ventures” in August into the empty chamber of Parliament took place after they booked a tour under a different name and conspired to distract a parliamentary officer, Simpson wrote.
"(Members of the group) exhibited behaviour on the parliamentary precinct that is inconsistent with the dignity of the parliament," the Speaker said.
Lock the Gate has courted controversy before – in April they were threatened with eviction from a protest site they had erected at a site in Bentley (mistakenly thinking a Metgasco oil sands site was a CBM project). The mayor of a nearby town claimed the group took “the law into their own hands” and added that the group dug trenches through public roads, erected their own road signs and had insufficient toilet and washing facilities to continue living at the protest camp.
Lock the Gate reacted furiously to the Parliament House ban, claiming that it was undemocratic.
Written by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/cbm/08102014/anti-cbm-activists-banned-from-australian-parliament-123/