It was with a great degree of disappointment that I learned from the Canberra Times that the Make RiotACT Rich Bill 2008 (also known as the Crimes (Bill Posting) Amendment Bill 2008) has hit a snag with objections raised by the Greens, Liberals, and the Human Rights Commissioner.
We discussed these proposals back on 10 December 2008 but the rest of Canberra is now catching up to the issues.
- Opposition spokesman on territory and municipal services Alistair Coe said the changes could impinge on a person’s right to free speech, and was too broad.
”It is poorly drafted, vague legislation that will do nothing to enforce laws that are already in the statute book,” Mr Coe said.
Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur said the Bill, which targeted event promoters who commissioned the posters even if they did not put up the posters themselves, disproportionately punished people. ”We believe this Bill must be amended to achieve a stated purpose without disproportionately impacting on the rights of ACT citizens and or the vitality and culture of our city,” she said.
Aside from RiotACT looking forward to getting more ad dollars from event organisers I hope the issues here can be reconciled.
The problem is large commercial event organisers despoiling the landscape in cheap, environmentally destructive event promotion (posters over everything). In the past they’ve claimed to have no control over the people they’ve paid to put the posters up, and sauntered into the sunset through that loophole.
So it should not be beyond the wit of our legislators to fashion something which targets the big boys without limiting lost pet notices and community announcements. Surely it’s not too hard?
Anyway one of the reasons we have a parliament is to improve the proposals of the executive. I look forward to seeing what comes out of the committee hearings.
Bear in mind that much of the political opposition might be motivated by a desire of Liberals and Greens to despoil the landscape with their own posters. Keep your eyes peeled for a political exemption.