Climate change activists at Adelaide oil and gas conference result in snap anti-protest laws

climate change

Protests by climate change activists in Adelaide that were staged alongside this week’s Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) 2023 Conference & Exhibition have resulted in South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas rushing through new anti-protest laws that include jail time.

Protests alongside major fossil fuel conferences have been happening for the last few years, but the latest protest by Extinction Rebellion that saw property damage and road closure chaos has resulted in Malinauskas siding with the Opposition in ramming through new legislation that sees penalties raised from $750 to a maximum of $50,000 and three months prison time.

“[Extinction Rebellion] disrupt business in a way that compromises the ability for people to be able to earn a living,” Malinauskas said.

“They’ve disrupted our emergency services when it otherwise got plenty of other work to do around the standard. And the parliament is going to respond quickly.”

Anna Slynn, a spokeswoman for Extinction Rebellion South Australia, said the new laws are contradictory to the government’s claim to be committed to reducing carbon emissions.

“These new penalties that have been introduced to parliament serve two purposes: one, as a means of curbing people’s absolute and necessary right to peaceful non-violent protest and disruption,” she said.

“Two: to distract from the fact that APPEA have been here all week, making plans to expand oil and gas production. These plans have bipartisan support, both in SA and federally, and are completely contradictory to their very public claims to be acting on climate change.”