Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

Annoyed? Inconvenienced? Nah, just incandescent with rage ...

... and I don't even live in Sydney. However, I am gobsmacked by the latest stupidity of the bunch of thugs that calls itself the NSW government. My learned colleague the president of the NSW Bar Association obviously shares my concern:

World Youth Day regulations undermine our basic rights

The president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Anna Katzmann SC, has condemned the Iemma government’s World Youth Day regulations as a direct affront to freedom of speech and assembly.

‘To make something that causes inconvenience to people the basis for a criminal offence is both unnecessary and repugnant.

‘It is difficult to understand the need for, let alone the wisdom of, such a law’, said Ms Katzmann.

Creating a criminal offence by regulation bypasses the same level of parliamentary and public scrutiny that would be given to an Act of parliament.

‘Who required this? Why are the existing laws good enough to regulate conduct at, say, the Mardi Gras parade or the Rugby World Cup, but not on this occasion?’ Ms Katzmann said.

To make matters worse, the terms of the regulation are vague, its operation uncertain and it does not at least require the conduct to be disorderly or insulting.

In this last respect it is in stark contrast with existing laws governing crowd behaviour at Mount Panorama or the Sydney Cricket Ground.

‘The mere presence in the vicinity of a person wearing the apparel or insignia of another religion might be annoying or inconvenient to a participant in a World Youth Day event. So, too, the presence of a protestor.

‘If I were to wear a T-shirt proclaiming that “World Youth Day is a waste of public money” and refuse to remove it when an officer of the Rural Fire Service asks me to, I would commit a criminal offence. How ridiculous is that?

‘Why should participants in a World Youth Day event be the arbiters of good taste and behaviour and why should their sensitivities or those of a police officer, an SES member or a member of the Rural Fire Service dictate the behaviour of other, law abiding members of the public?’ Ms Katzmann concluded.

Here’s the relevant regulation:

7 Control of conduct within World Youth Day declared areas

(1) An authorised person may direct a person within a World Youth Day declared area to cease engaging in conduct that:

(b) causes annoyance or inconvenience [my emphasis] to participants in a World Youth Day event,

(2) A person must not, without reasonable excuse, fail to comply with a direction given to the person under subclause (1).

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

(3) A person is not guilty of an offence under this clause unless it is established that the authorised person warned the person that a failure to comply with the direction is an offence.

(4) In this clause, authorised person means:

(a) a police officer, or

(b) a member of an SES unit (within the meaning of the State Emergency Service Act 1989) or a member of the NSW Rural Fire Service, but only if the member is authorised by the Authority in writing for the purposes of this clause.

So what is a World Youth Day “declared area”? See Schedule A:

Event sites [47 of them…]

Sydney Adventist College Activity Centre
Australian Museum
Barangaroo site as defined in section 3 (1) of the World Youth Day Act 2006
Hyde Park Barracks
B’naiB’rith Centre
Birrung Gallery
Customs House
St Mary’s Cathedral
Darling Harbour
The Domain
Emmanuel Synagogue
Cinema Paris
Pilgrim Walking Route (as shown on the map entitled “World Youth Day – Pilgrimage walking route” prepared by the Authority and dated 29 May 2008 and deposited in the office of the Authority)
Barangaroo Walking Route (as shown on the map entitled “World Youth Day – Main event walking routes: Tuesday to Friday 15 to 18 July 2008” prepared by the Authority and displayed on the Authority’s website)
Centennial Park
Randwick Racecourse
Royal Botanic Gardens
Royal Agricultural Society Showground
The University of Sydney
Art Gallery of New South Wales
State Sports Centre
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Olympic Park
Harbourside Amphitheatre
Hyde Park, between Elizabeth and College Streets
Legion of Mary
Loreto Kirribilli
The Mint
Maunsell Wickes at Barry Stern Galleries
Mary MacKillop Place
National Trust Centre, Observatory Hill
The University of Notre Dame Australia (Darlinghurst Campus)
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Jewish Museum
King Street Gallery on William
St Collumcilles Woolloomooloo
St Joseph’s Catholic Church Edgecliff
St Paul’s Catholic Chapel East Sydney
St Peter’s Catholic Church Surry Hills
St Scholastica’s Chapel Glebe
St Scholastica’s Trixie Forrest Hall, Glebe
Tumbalong Park
National Council of Jewish Women of Australia
Paddington Uniting Church
Wynyard Railway Station, Barangaroo site, Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, The Domain, Hyde Park,
Central Station, Darling Harbour, Centennial Parklands, Randwick Racecourse and Mary MacKillop Place as shown on the map entitled “Map of key World Youth Day venues and facilities in and around Sydney City” dated Monday 23 June 2008 prepared by the Authority and displayed on the Authority’s website.

Then there are (wait for it) 584 Accommodation and Catechesis sites” – predominantly schools (and not just Catholic ones, either), and 35 “Transport sites”, mostly railway stations, plus a few bus interchanges and terminuses.

I’m sorely tempted to visit Sydney on this ridiculous occasion, wearing the most offensive t-shirt that I can lay my hands on, and see if I can get arrested.

And – here’s a pleasant thought – just think what fun Chaser should have with this inanity.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

$5000 fine per litre?

Well, am a little less incandescent now after the morning cup of coffee.

Thanks for that comprehensive list. Considering what is showing at the Art Gallery, I am afraid there may need to be some covers tossed over some artworks. Lucky Piss Christ is not there at the moment. Would that be one $5000 fine or would it be per litre, or per visitor or per owner of art gallery – us?

And let us hope the train delays at Wynyard are not discomforting.

I think the nicest day out protest would be a flotilla on the harbour, not a designated area but certainly viewable from many of them.


I'm Going

My wife is a dedicated follower of the Catholic faith and will be attending several events that the Pope will be at and I'm looking forward to accompanying her.

I'm not sure those who drafted these laws have a clue what they are on about.

We both find several NSW politicians particularly odious, if not downright offensive. I'm pretty sure we'll be running into Morris Iemma at some stage and I expect police to act upon our claims that we find him completely offensive and expect our request to have him removed to be honoured, particularly from a religious event.

The same goes for Frank Sartor who I guarantee will be getting in on the Pope's act. As someone who helped Frank when he was booted out of office along with the entire City Council years ago, I now find his Napoleon complex one of the most disturbing aspects. I've told him to his face but he just laughs. I'm incensed over his Mullumbimby approval of a totally inappropriate giant Woolworth's building on grounds the local council have deemed unsuitable for a building its size.

That's offensive and I now get quite disturbed when seeing him in the flesh – the last time was at the NSW Art Gallery when both he and Morris were together.

I want to know more of what makes my wife such a devotee of the Catholic faith – she has never missed a Midnight Mass at Christmas or Easter in her life. I consider myself a pilgrim now and especially want to see the coffin of the soon-to-be saint at St Mary's – in fact, I'll be at some function tomorrow night at which George Pell will officiate.

Will my requests to have these politicians removed (or indeed anyone else for that matter) be honoured? If they aren't there must surely be serious consequences for the police (or SES officers) if they fail to take note of my objections.

I predict chaos (as does my psychic wife).

Share the love

I do think it is important to be welcoming and compassionate to our visitors who have come to worship the Pope and as such one should choose a compassionate and welcoming Tshirt in the style and nature that our culture embraces, and exude the love and freedom that we all are also passionate about, and as such something like :"Be compassionate, F*@#k the Pope, after 80 odd years he deserves it". Of course one would also have a condom picture as that is public State NSW policy regarding safe sex. Any volunteers to wear it?

One could also shorten the message, again out of compassion for those who have trouble with longer sentences ... like judges dealing with clergy offenders. Ah well. Share the love.



Was I reading somewhere something like a five thousand dollar fine for wearing a cheeky T-shirt?

Incredible how repressive state governments in Victoria and NSW have become over these junkets during the last decade, when one is imposed every so often on the public purse and sensibility. What will "Chaser" come up with?

Will the public rally behind anyone victimised for being naughty and "do a Cronulla", or are the issues too complex for the mentality that would react to Cronulla.

As for the Catholic Church- it ought to be ashamed. All the money splurged on a gigantic Doris Day-level self-promoting sentimentalisating prank, that could have been spent helping the global poor through publicising their plight and establishing aid programs. Western Christianity has lost all touch with the philosophy, feelings and aspirations of its founder, as related in the Gospels; the brutalist nonsense from the North Shore Anglicans also demostrates this.

Far harder to be a Niemoller, or Jesuit liberation theology priest in a Latin American jail, or a Sister Theresa, one supposes.

Religions always demonstrate the path more seldom taken when it comes to the choice between God and Mammon.

Talk about throwing petrol on a fire...

"I’m sorely tempted to visit Sydney on this ridiculous occasion, wearing the most offensive t-shirt that I can lay my hands on, and see if I can get arrested."

It would be fun to see thousands of people wearing "offensive t-shirts" all over the show. If asked to take it off then they could replace it with another offensive t-shirt and another.

The problem is: what is offensive and what is not?

If one was to wear a t-shirt implying the Iemma government was behaving just like the mafia sucking up to, and protecting, their beloved pope (after all that bunch good er bad fellas have a lot of sucking to do if they want stay outa hell when they croak)  would that be considered offensive?

It does not insult the pope or catholics, only the incompetent, dishonest and corrupt NSW government, and crooks, but I repeat myself.

Now if one was to wear something like that, who would find it offensive (especially in NSW)?

I reckon we need thousands of similar t-shirts and lots of cameras.

Images uploaded in real time to reveal to the world what a bunch of morons run the show in the antipodes.

When you think about it, these regulations are going to be like a red rag to a bull; it will be interesting to see what happens for now these regulations will give more people, more reason to protest.

Talk about throwing petrol on a fire. Even the mafia, or a moron would not be that stupid.

Poor fellow NSW; poor fellow democracy.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
© 2005-2011, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the site editors.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.
Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 3 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 5 days ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 5 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 5 days ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 5 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 6 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 3 days ago