Gympie MP Tony Perrett addresses the Gympie Chamber of COmmerce meeting this morning. Mr Perrett has warned Australians to be careful of government overreach and the use of power to restrict our freedoms.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett addresses the Gympie Chamber of COmmerce meeting this morning. Mr Perrett has warned Australians to be careful of government overreach and the use of power to restrict our freedoms.

‘No one blinked’: Why we must hold the line against gag laws

Opinion piece by Gympie MP Tony Perrett

 

The weekend was a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made to guarantee and protect the freedoms we often take for granted.

Saturday marked the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Pacific - that the Second World War was finally over. On Sunday afternoon I attended the Vietnam Veteran's Day Memorial Service at Memorial Park. The day had its birth in the Battle of Long Tan that occurred on August 18, 1966.

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It is always a privilege to attend these commemorations which are important events in our region's calendar.

Although this year's ANZAC Day services were different, they were a testament to the importance that Gympie residents place on the service given by our defence personnel over so many years.

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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos August 17, 2020: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during a press conference in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos August 17, 2020: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during a press conference in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard

Gympie has a proud history of locals leaving to serve in numerous theatres of war and conflicts to protect our way of life. They were resilient, inspirational, and unwavering. It continues a tradition of embracing our laws, traditions, democracy, institutions, freedoms, our type of society and government, and remembering our immense privileges and expectations.

In adversity we not only learn about ourselves and others we also appreciate the values and type of country we live in.

In the same week that we recall these sacrifices our democracy, free press, and values of openness, and transparency were threatened.

These may be disruptive times, but it doesn't justify a power grab. Gag laws on the press are nothing more than cynical political opportunism.

OPINION: We have to be careful of government and bureaucratic overreach and the use of power to restrict our freedoms. Honouring and understanding the sacrifice of those who fought means we cannot take anything for granted.

 

The legislation was drafted, discussed at Cabinet, the Premier and Ministers signed off on it, it was discussed in the ALP caucus room, then presented to Parliament.

No one blinked.

A free press is fundamental to accountability, transparency, and openness. Gympie locals have had to campaign recently against threats to transparency and openness in our local government.

We have to be careful of government and bureaucratic overreach and the use of power to restrict our freedoms. Honouring and understanding the sacrifice of those who fought means we cannot take anything for granted.

Gympie Times

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