Police drop MLA’s trespassing charge

2543 Bruce Francais 130LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – Legal action against me for having entered the Katherine electorate office in breach of a trespass notice served on me by the Member for Katherine Sandra Nelson has now been withdrawn by the police.

 

I visited the electorate office on September 4 to speak to Sandra about a matter of community concern.

 

I raised the issue of the decision to lift the moratorium on fracking being made by a mere eight of our 25 MLAs with herself being one of the 17 MLAs who didn’t vote, thus depriving her constituents of a voice on this controversial issue.

 

Sandra maintains that it was a democratically made decision, an opinion that I believe is contrary to that of most of her constituents and fellow Territorians.

 

Sandra has now stated publicly: “I voted in line with the stance of Katherine residents.”

 

This would merely have been a vote in the Labor Caucus, not a vote in the Legislative Assembly where the decision to lift the moratorium was made. Openness and transparency of government with the Labor administration have been sadly lacking.

 

I reminded Sandra that due to unusual circumstances she was elected in a conservative electorate despite being a Labor candidate.

 

Sandra campaigned for election on an anti-fracking platform in a region where there is strong opposition to fracking.

 

It is believed that she personally opposes fracking and played a major role in the implementation of the moratorium.

 

I told Sandra that she is displaying more loyalty to the Labor Party than to her constituents however Sandra refuted this.

 

When I left the office I made a derogatory but non-expletive comment about Sandra.

 

This did not justify the serving of a trespass notice. The Attorney General’s office suggested that the notice is invalid and that I should ask Sandra to revoke it. I wrote to Sandra about this matter in mid December but she did not respond.

 

On October 30 I was invited by the Chief Minister’s Executive Directer of Economic and Environment Policy Ian Satchwell to attend a climate change forum scheduled to be held in the government centre, but there was a last minute change of venue to the electorate office.

 

I attended the forum and was evicted by the police acting in accordance with the trespass notice.

 

I was summonsed to court on November 27 but the matter was adjourned until December 14 and then adjourned again until January 17. It has now been dismissed.

 

I certainly did not enter the Katherine electorate office with any criminal intentions and there was no inappropriate behavior by myself at the forum. The Member for Katherine did not attend the forum.

 

Climate change is a matter that should be of concern for all citizens. I fervently believe that I had every right to attend a public forum convened by the government in a government office to discuss the impact of increasing temperatures for all Territorians.

 

It is embarrassing for any citizen to be removed from a public event by the police.

 

Understandably I will be seeking an apology from the Member for Katherine for her actions.

 

I have incurred some costs in defending myself so I will be submitting a bill to Sandra. No doubt this will be met from her electoral allowance. I might even throw in a considerable sum for stress compensation.

 

Bruce Francais (pictured)

Katherine

 

 

 

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4 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. InterestedDarwinObserver
    Posted January 25, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Ntharipe Observer: I am sorry you read my comment that way. The descriptions are solely leveled at the MLA(s) and not at Bruce the constituent.

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  2. Ntharipe Observer
    Posted January 24, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    InterestedDarwinObserver (Posted January 24, 2019 at 8:52 am): Your statement is highly confusing. Are you really saying that Bruce is like a perpetual victim, identity politician and social justice warrior, and that Sandra Nelson MLA stood him up? I know that Bruce has been a bit of an anti-fracking warrior, but I would have thought that your description of him is a bit excessive.

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  3. Pete Path
    Posted January 24, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Absolutely stunning. I attended last year’s Parliamentary committee hearings of a bill to amend the Water Act, and her contribution was … inadequate.
    But this is a whole other level of uselessness.

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  4. InterestedDarwinObserver
    Posted January 24, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Bruce, NT Labor are determined to stand up perpetual victims, identity politicians and social justice warriors. Unfortunately the most minor of challenges to them sees them wither – hence your totally uncalled for trespass notice.
    What a disgusting thing to have occurred to you and what a sad indictment upon our democracy and freedom of speech.
    If a politician cannot handle an energetic conversation with a constituent, what chance does she have standing up for her constituents against the mindless Labor caucus and their overarching bureaucrats.
    To think Sandra served in the army! God help us if we are ever challenged by more than words!

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