Ensuring safety of first responders is paramount

The Palaszczuk Government is introducing new laws to ensure the safety of front- line emergency service workers and the broader community.

These new laws are vitally important because these are the people who often put themselves in harm’s way for the benefit of others.

There has been a significant increase in the use of potentially dangerous tactics by a small cohort of individuals which is putting at risk the safety of first responders and the individuals themselves.

These tactics include the use of potentially dangerous attachment devices such as ‘sleeping dragons’, ‘dragon’s dens’, ‘tripods’ and ‘monopoles’.

Removal or disassembly of these devices often requires the use of specialist tools like angle grinders, cold cut saws, hydraulic cutters, hammer drills and jack hammers.

The use of such equipment in proximity to a person’s body represents a real risk of injury.

The risk is exacerbated by the way some attachment devices have previously been, or may be, constructed.

This includes where individuals have reinforced the devices with glass, wire, steel and other items.

Under the proposed new laws it will be an offence to use a dangerous attachment device.

Additionally, police will have the power to search a person or vehicle and seize a dangerous attachment device.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said while it will not be an offence to possess a dangerous attachment device, police will have the capacity to seize a device prior to its use.

And police will have the power to deactivate, disassemble and dispose of anything that is a dangerous attachment device.

“This is first and foremost about safety.

“It’s about the safety of emergency workers and the safety of the individuals planning to use the devices.

“The penalty for using one of these devices will be up to 2 years imprisonment or a fine of nearly $7,000.

“It is both the design of these devices and the manner in which they are used which make them potentially dangerous.

“For example, devices which are embedded with metal or other items and those which incorporate glass sleeves, can result in significant injuries to the individual, police, emergency services and community members if removed incorrectly or hastily.

“Devices that use trip wires or drums reinforced with concrete to obstruct rail lines and roads could result in serious injury or death if individuals are not removed and the trains or vehicles stopped.

“The government fully supports the right to protest.

“But community safety will always be paramount,” Minister Ryan said.

/Public Release. View in full here.