Environmental campaigner has conviction overturned
ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner Drew Hutton has had his conviction for obstructing a gas company from entering authorised land overturned by a Brisbane court.
Mr Hutton is the co-founder of the Lock the Gate organisation.
Mr Hutton was arrested on March 29, 2011, while protesting outside Peranga Station near Tara.
Last December, Mr Hutton was convicted in the Dalby Magistrates Court under section 805 of Queensland's Petroleum and Gas Act.
Under the Act, anyone who obstructs an oil and gas company from entering, crossing or carrying out any other authorised activity on land covered by an exploration or production licence - on condition that they have been properly warned by the company could face a fine of up to $50,000.
Mr Hutton is the only person in Queensland to be convicted under the law.
However last week, District Court Judge Fleur Kingham acquitted Mr Hutton on the basis that he was not properly warned by the gas company.
Her judgment criticised the "awkward and ambiguous drafting of section 805."
Mr Hutton could not be reached for comment.