Wednesday, 19 February 2014


I  spent  a  good part of today in the public gallery in the Victorian
Lower House of Parliament.

The  occasion was the second reading of the summary offences amendment

Debate was firey. The Member for Bass, Liberal Ken Smith MP, attacking
the  Opposition  calling them mates of thugs and puppets of unions and
gangsters.  He  said  the  Opposition had to vote against the bill for
fear  of  upsetting  their  mates  and  union controllers. He screamed
something  like,  wait  till  you  thug  mates  are dragged off by the

It reminded me of the Nuremberg rallies.

The  Attorney  General, Member for Box Hill, Liberal Robert Clarek MP,
told  the  House  that  the  bill  was  good. It would in fact improve
Victorians'  right  to  lawful  protest  by getting the ratbags out of
protest groups and presumably into jail.

The  Labour  MPs fired back salvo after salvo. The Member for Macedon,
Labor's Ms Joanne Duncan really gave Ken Smith MP curry.

I  kid  you  not.  Have  a  look  at Hansard tomorrow. It'll be on the
parliamentary website. Put it on websites and facebook pages.

Then  it  came  time for a vote. The bells were rung. The House filled
up. The doors were locked. The result was:

Government         43      Yes
Opposition         43      No
Geoff Shaw MP       1      Yes

The  Independent  Member  for  Frankston,  Geoff  Shaw  MP, tipped the
balance in the Government's favour.

This is a bad law.

On  the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne I did an interview with
Channel 9 TV News. I gave them the media release below.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

This media release was sent to a large number of journalists and to every Member of the Victorian Parliament.

Attorney General Robert Clark plans to push through changes to the Summary Offences
and Sentencing law that will unfairly limit the ability of lobby groups and unions
to assemble and protest in public.

The Independent Riders' Group strongly opposes these kinds of laws because they are
undemocratic and un-Australian. The IRG has urged its' members make an appointment to
see their MPs and make it clear that these laws are not acceptable in a free society.

IRG Spokesman, Damien Codognotto OAM, said.

"Anti-association laws have already done enormous damage to the Australian way of life
in Queensland. We don't want them here.  Many people who would travel to Queensland for
business or pleasure won't for fear of unfair arrest for talking to someone or wearing
the wrong t-shirt."

Changes to the Summary Offences and Sentencing Bill appear to be aimed at minority
groups like bikies or the tunnel protestors but they will effect the society as a whole
and are opened to massive abuse.

"Increase police numbers, enforce existing laws, but do not turn Victoria into a police
state with these dangerous changes to our laws." Codognotto said.

Robert Clark admitted his amendments would "impose a limitation on an individual's right
to move freely within Victoria ... and may, in certain circumstances, limit the rights
to freedom of expression (section15), and peaceful assembly and freedom of association
(section16)." - Source NEWMATILDA.COM.

CONTACT:  Damien Codognotto OAM
          Independent Riders' Group


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