Greenies using crowdfunding to bankroll protests
GREEN activists are bankrolling their protests by turning to crowdfunding to pay for their fines - which is raising more money than their court-imposed penalties.
Anti-Adani protesters are setting up GoFundMe and Chuffed pages to solicit donations for their fines to escape personally paying for their offending.
Some are raising thousands of dollars more than their fines, but the Palasczcuk Government says activists are not triggering Queensland proceeds of crime laws because their offences are not considered "serious".
The protesters tell their supporters on crowdfunding websites that any extra cash will be used to help with further protest activity, such as buying equipment to film themselves.
An outraged Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has slammed the fundraising, arguing that money raised should be directed to police to help pay for the resources wasted by dealing with activists.
A group fined for campaigning against Adani that received $82,000 in fines, but had them reduced to $22,000 on appeal, raised $35,280 on Chuffed - leaving them $13,280 better off.
The Support the Adani Coal Port Protesters Chuffed page says: "If our fines are reduced to a more reasonable amount, all extra funds will be donated to Front Line Action on Coal to continue the fight against Adani and mining in the Galilee Basin."
A Chuffed web page has also been set up in the name of a serial Extinction Rebellion activist who fronted court eight times for protest-related changes since June.
More than $1600 has been raised and he says on the page: "Thanks so much for everyone's donations, our fines have been paid and any extra donations will be put into getting film gear for the campaign so we can continue to bring high-quality documentation of the frontline action to Stop Adani and keep coal in the ground."
Despite some raising extra money from their crime, a spokesman for State Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said proceeds of crime laws were not triggered.
"Queensland's confiscation of criminal proceeds laws generally target serious criminal offences with a threshold of five years' imprisonment,'' he said.
"Laws recently passed by State Parliament related to the use of dangerous devices by street protesters allow for penalties of up to two years' imprisonment, insufficient to trigger Criminal Proceeds Confiscation laws."
But LNP leader Deb Frecklington said extra cash raised should be going to police, and that fundraising was "simply despicable".
"If these job destroying extremists are getting Newstart, it should be stripped immediately," she told The Courier-Mail.
"No-one has the right to destroy other people's jobs and disrupt their lives and if they do, they should face the consequences," she said.
"The money raised by these job-destroying extremists should go directly to the police to help pay for the millions of taxpayers' dollars in wasted resources."
The Crime and Corruption Commission's website says proceeds of crime refers to any money or property gained from criminal activity.
The Palaszczuk Government has gifted more than $130,000 to a Melbourne-based organisation that supports militant activists Extinction Rebellion (ER) and Market Forces - both groups that campaign against Adani.
The Climate Change Organisation urges people to "join the climate movement" and "get involved with climate advocacy organisation and make a difference on a local, state or national level".
It lists climate groups including ER and Market Forces, which encourage supporters to boycott big and small businesses that undertake contracts with Queensland job employer Adani.
Ms Frecklington accused Annastacia Palaszczuk of using taxpayers' money "to promote an organisation hellbent on destroying Queensland jobs".
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said that the Government was committed to taking action on climate change. "Over the last decade, Queensland has experienced more than 84 disaster events, causing more than $15 billion in damage to public infrastructure," Ms Enoch said.