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Magistrates Hand Out Light Sentences

In the past all Tasmanian magistrates have been far to lenient with protesters in Tasmania, and the public are getting very sick of these people breaking the law and getting away with no or very light penalties against the protesters. I wonder how magistrates would feel and the penalties that would be handed out if protesters interrupted their place of work, the court room, This would be a looked upon as a different matter and the protesters would receive the full penalty that the law could hand out.


EVERAL protesters have been sentenced for bringing Gunns Ltd's Triabunna pulp mill to a standstill late last year.

The Mercury, written by Sally Glaetzer March 11, 2009

Three of the anti-logging activists were fined $200, one received a community service order and another three escaped with a good behaviour bond. The men pleaded guilty in the Hobart Magistrates Court to one count of trespass over the demonstration which left more than 30 fully laden log trucks sitting outside the mill for several hours on December 16. Prosecutor Julie McCullough told the court a large police contingent, including a forensic team and two search and rescue units, was called to remove the protesters, who chained themselves to machinery.

The lawyer for six of the seven activists, Cassandra Gregg said each of the defendants had received a writ from Gunns seeking compensation over the protest.

The court heard none of the defendants had savings or assets and all but one received Centrelink benefits.

Part-time landscaper and stonemason Ali Imran Ali Shah, 24, of South Hobart, who represented himself, told the court he would undertake such protest action again."I will continue my activities against Gunns Ltd," Mr Ali Shah said.

Magistrate Helen Wood noted the protest involved no violence or damage to property. "It can be described as a peaceful protest," she said.

But Ms Wood said it was a concern to the court and community that so many police officers were tied up with dealing with the demonstration.

First-time offenders, Huon Valley Environment Centre volunteer Lee Anthony Sargent, 28, of Lucaston and unemployed Nathan Harris, 24, of South Hobart escaped without a conviction on the basis that they were of good behaviour for 18 months.

Volunteer designer and film-maker Paul Eric Kimbell, 28, of Lucaston was convicted and entered into an 18 month good behaviour bond.

Brett Thompson, 30, of Huonville and Nishant Alan Datt, 22, of Lucaston -- both Huon Valley Environment Centre volunteers -- and Mr Ali Shah were each fined $200 in acknowledgement of their prior offending.

Ms Wood said final-year Arts student Warrick Jordan, 27, of Launcaston, had a "significant number" of prior convictions for trespass and a more serious penalty was needed.

She sentenced him to 21 hours of unpaid community work, provided he was deemed suitable by community service assessors.


A TASMANIAN magistrate has blasted two environmental activists who locked themselves on to a conveyor belt at Ta Ann's Smithton veneer mill yesterday.

The Mercury, written by Helen Kempton August 09 2011
"You place your own ideals above the rights of others, affecting businesses and the people who work there," magistrate Don Jones told the men after they pleaded guilty to a charge of trespass.
"I am not politically minded whatsoever. But people should be able to operate a business without interference.
"You may have particular views but that does not give you the right to disrupt the rights of others."
Mr Jones told Ali Imran Ali Shah, of Blackmans Bay, and Aaron James O'Connor, of Launceston, they would go to jail if they were convicted of trespass again.
Both men received a suspended jail sentence and neither is allowed within 25km of Smithton for 12 months.
Huon Valley Environment Centre spokeswoman Jenny Weber described the sentences as excessive.
"To consider putting people in jail for standing up for our precious native forests and taking part in a peaceful, non-violent protest is a harsh and undemocratic response," Ms Weber said.
The ink had hardly dried on Tasmania's historic $276 million forest "peace" deal when O'Connor, Ali Shah and eight other protesters entered the Ta Ann mill site.
The mill was shut down for more than four hours as police worked to unlock the men from the conveyor belt.
The State Opposition called on Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim to put pressure on the state's environmental movement to stop protesting and let forestry businesses go about their business.

And the forestry union said it would explore what legal options it had to stop the workplace protest actions.


A FOREST activist defied a Hobart magistrate yesterday who ordered him not to protest for 18 months.

 The Mercury, written by Charles Waterhouse   August 16, 2011

Ali Imran Ali Shah, of Blackmans Bay, received an eight-week suspended jail sentence on three charges of committing a nuisance at Forestry Tasmania's Hobart headquarters and trespass at the Ta Ann Hobart offices and a ship at the Hobart wharves.

Magistrate Olivia McTaggart suspended the sentence on condition Ali Shah did not participate in any protests for 18 months. But Ali Shah told Ms McTaggart before she sentenced him that he was morally and ethically bound to stop damage to Tasmania's environment and could not guarantee he would not protest again.

Ms McTaggart said she understood Ali Shah's situation but told him he was required to abide by the law for the 18 months and if he breached the order he would face the consequences.

The court heard Ali Shah was paying several thousand dollars in outstanding court fines.

Ms McTaggart said she could fine him a very large amount for the offences but did not believe it was an appropriate sentence. She also ruled out making an area restriction on him.

The magistrate said it was appropriate to impose a jail sentence but not an actual term of jail.

On Monday last week North-West magistrate Don Jones blasted Ali Shah and another protester for locking themselves to a conveyor belt at Ta Ann's Smithton veneer mill. Both men received suspended jail sentences and neither is allowed within 25km of Smithton for 12 months.


Note by Webmaster:

Who is this Forestry Union in Tasmania
This union (FEDFA) is the same one that donated to Get UP, Get Up is one of the many groups that have been trying for years to close the Tasmanian timber industry down. Get Up also toke out full page advertisements telling financial institutions not to invest in Gunn’s Tasmanian Pulp mill (which would have safe gaurded the Tasmanian timber industry). This was one of the many reasons that the company went into liquidation.  Yes the same company that employed many Tasmanian timber workers, FEDFA MEMBERS,


Pulp mill protester held

The Mercury, written by Nick Clark September 07, 2011

A PROTESTER against the pulp mill was remanded in custody yesterday by the Launceston Magistrates Court after being charged with breaching bail conditions.

Syed Ali Imran Alishah, 26, of Blackmans Bay, was refused bail by Magistrate Tim Hill and ordered to reappear on September 27.

Mr Alishah was also charged with committing a nuisance after allegedly locking himself to a truck at the Gunns pulp mill site on Monday morning.

Last week he was arrested for trespassing at the site in the Tamar Valley and appeared before court on a warrant relating to a charge of attempted trespass in Hobart in August.

He was granted court bail.

Mr Alishah is a member of the Code Green environmental group.

A second member of the group, April van der Meer, 19, of Abbott St, Launceston, was granted bail after appearing on a negligent driving charge.

Police say Ms van der Meer drove a car into a truck carrying equipment to the pulp mill site. She was also charged with trespass, breach of bail and aiding the commission of a simple offence.

Ms Van der Meer was ordered to reappear in court on October 12 for plea.


Vigil for pulp mill protester

 The Mercury, written by Zara Dawtrey  September 28, 2011

A NOON vigil was held in Hobart and Launceston yesterday in support of an anti-pulp mill campaigner arrested over a protest at Gunns Ltd's Bell Bay site three weeks ago.

Syed Ali Imran Alishah, 26, of Blackmans Bay, was again refused bail yesterday when he appeared before the Launceston Magistrates Court charged with breaching bail conditions and committing a nuisance.

A member of environmental activism group Code Green, Alishah is accused of trespassing on the Bell Bay site and locking himself on to a truck earlier this month.

Magistrate Robert Pearce yesterday ordered Alishah to appear before the Hobart Magistrates Court for a plea hearing on October 6.

Gunns has said it would pursue protesters for costs arising from a four-hour delay caused by the latest protest on September 16.


Bailed, but activist undeterred

The Mercury, written by Zara Dawtrey October 15, 2011

A BLACKMANS Bay man jailed for five weeks over forestry protest actions says his incarceration has not deterred him.

Syed Ali Alishah, 26, was yesterday freed by the Hobart Magistrates Court a move by magistrate Chris Webster that surprised Alishah's many supporters.

But outside the court he was unable to guarantee that he would not take part in further actions that would be likely to see him jailed again.

Alishah yesterday entered guilty pleas to two counts of trespass, one of committing a nuisance and one of driving without a licence.

A third trespass charge was dropped.

A prominent member of activist group Code Green, he was arrested and jailed for breaching bail conditions after Code Green members locked themselves on to earthmoving equipment at the Tamar Valley pulp mill site early last month.

Alishah will be back in court for sentencing on December 9.


Note by the Webmaster:

Is it not interesting that these people only get light sentences, Take Syed Ali Alishah, who has no respect for the law and is still defiant to the present day. Some pro development people have said that they might have a protest in the judges work place if this is the only way to show the judges that protesting is a right but it should not happen in work places, let protesters make their stand outside a workplace entrance, but not on the work place. How would the courts handle a industrial accident, if a protester was chained to a conveyor and an employee turned the conveyor on and injured or killed the protester, Would that Employee be charged and sentenced for manslaughter . Protesters think they have the safety covered but how do they know it is safe. Plus what would happen to the employer or owner of the site that is supposed to be responsible for all persons on a work site.

It is now time to hand out sentence that suit the crime and the protesters non-defiance and that enter a work place.


The Truth About the Tarkine

Known to the local people as the Arthur Pieman Area, The Name Tarkine was given to the area by the greens within the Heritage Council some years ago when they started their campaign to turn the Arthur Pieman area plus other large areas around the perimeter that they have added.

There are areas within the Arthur Pieman that have been extensively mined for the large variety of minerals within some small areas. >> READ MORE HERE

J West

Is Dr Jonathan West Independent

In 2011 the Prime Minister appointed to him to chair and conduct the "independent verification” on the claims of the wilderness society and other environmental non government organisations on high conservation value forests.

Ask yourself. Is Dr Jonathan West Independent?