Suspected Agitators to Face Detention at Next Year’’s G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia

MEMBERS of the public could be locked up for three days during G20 if they are even suspected of planning to disrupt the event in Brisbane next year.

by Robyn Ironside / The Courier-Mail

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A “catch all” offence of attempting to disrupt the G20, and powers to refuse bail for alleged offenders were yesterday highlighted by the Queensland Law Society as of grave concern.

Criminal lawyer Peter Shields told a public hearing of the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee even carrying eggs to a breakfast at South Bank could be enough to get thrown in jail under the proposed legislation for G20.

“The real concern we can see with the legislation is persons who get caught up with an event, where English is not their first language, may not understand that they have to explain to the police that they are in possession of eggs because they’re on their way to South Bank for a breakfast or something,” said Mr Shields.

Brisbane in lockdown for G20

“With a literal reading of the legislation, possession of eggs is an offence without lawful excuse.”

He proposed having “six to 12 lawyers and barristers on the ground” in the security zone around the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre to “step in and provide legal advice” as needed.

Strip searched approved at Brisbane G20

After the hearing, committee chairman Ian Berry said people would have nothing to worry about if they stayed clear of the restricted area around the BCEC.

“It’s not as if you do not know that you’re in a restricted or security area so it’s clear that people who are there and they do things that cause suspicion, will be brought to police notice,” said Mr Berry.

G20 public holiday in doubt

He also dismissed Mr Shields’ suggestion of having legal experts on hand for the benefit of alleged offenders.

“I wasn’t particularly impressed with that,” Mr Berry said. “That’s a policy matter. I don’t think it’s warranted.”

But he was keen to investigate further a submission by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland to modify the public holiday proposed for November 14 next year.

CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy Nick Behrens said the holiday for the Brisbane local government area would adversely affect more than 36,000 businesses outside of the G20 security zone.

The committee is due to report back to Parliament on the Bill by October 22.

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