Anti-protest bill not sent to inquiry

LEGISLATIVE Councillors have rejected sending the government's anti-protest bill to an inquiry.

The bill is now back in the hands of the government, with its future very much uncertain.

Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council Vanessa Goodwin this afternoon renewed a push for further consultation on the controversial bill.

But a number of MLCs lashed out at the idea and it was taken to a vote after 5pm.

Most MLCs said they supported the intention of the government's policy, but some said the legislation was ''fundamentally flawed''.

Others argued the legislation required a ''total rewrite'' prior to proper consideration.

Seven MLCs voted in favour of sending the legislation to an inquiry, and seven voted against the move.

Legislative Council President Jim Wilkinson then followed convention by casting his deciding vote against the idea. 

Under the proposed legislation, individuals who disrupt workplaces can be hit with $10,000 on-the-spot fines, with repeat offenders facing possible mandatory jail time. 

The bill has been criticised by lawyers, unions, civil libertarians, activists and opposition parties.

The mooted laws have been labelled undemocratic and unconstitutional, with many arguing unforeseen consequences would stretch far beyond workplace protests.

When the anti-protest legislation faced the lower house in June, the government was accused of trying to hide the laws from proper scrutiny after gagging debate after nine hours.

MORE TO COME

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