NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has doubled down on the government’s new anti-protest laws promising to “throw the book” at people following more action today.
Members of Fireproof Australia blocked a road in Botany Bay in Sydney’s south this morning, demanding more preparation for future natural disasters.
Mr Perrottet was asked about the protest action at a school in the state’s north where he is working on the flood recovery, and gave a fiery response.
“This type of behaviour needs to stop, people have the right to protest, people have the right to free speech, we promote that,” the premier said.
“But don’t do it at the expense of people trying to get to and from work, trying to get their kids to school, stopping people earning a living and a wage – that’s what these protests are doing.
“We’ve passed the laws, we’ll throw the book at these people, because their behaviour is completely unacceptable.
“And if you really want to lose support in the community for your cause, keep acting like that.
“Because that behaviour has no place in our state and to see those scenes in Sydney again today is completely unacceptable.
“And that’s why we passed those laws, we’ll throw the book at people who continue to act like that.”
When asked about the speed at which the bill was enacted, Mr Perrottet said: “When the laws are passed, they get ascended to by the governor very quickly.
“Those people will be arrested, and they can expect much harsher penalties, and they should bloody realise that the damage that they are doing across our state is shocking.
“Everybody has the right to protest peacefully and have a view, that’s what makes our country great, free speech, battle of ideas, fantastic – but don’t do it at the expenses of people who are trying to make a living, trying to get their kids to school, and trying to get on with life.”
Fireproof Australia, the group behind today’s action, said four people have been arrested and taken to a local police station.