INVITATION ONLY: An activist has been prevented from returning to Camp Binbee. Photo: Georgia Simpson
INVITATION ONLY: An activist has been prevented from returning to Camp Binbee. Photo: Georgia Simpson

Activist tries to change ‘onerous’ bail conditions

AN ACTIVIST attempted to have his bail conditions altered in court, arguing they were "unnecessarily onerous".

Benjamin Roy Winch told Bowen Magistrates Court his main gripe was that he was unable to return to Normanby Rd, where he worked as an activist at Camp Binbee.

Mr Winch, who is from Upper Coopers Creek in New South Wales, said without going back to Normanby Rd, he was left with nowhere to live.

"It seems unnecessary to me that for the duration that I'm up here I'm not allowed to go back to Normanby Rd," Mr Winch told the court.

 

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The 47-year-old man is facing two charges stemming from an alleged incident at Mt Coolon in October - being a pedestrian causing an obstruction and contravening a police direction - which are yet to proceed through the courts.

Magistrate James Morton considered his application, saying his written material stated he was a man of otherwise good standing and had a right to freedom of association and movement within Queensland under the Human Rights Act.

The court heard an overview of Mr Winch's bail conditions, which included prohibitions on him participating in unlawful protest activities, being with 20km of the Adani Carmichael Mine complex, approaching an Adani land project or worksite within 100m and going within 100m of an address on Normanby Rd, unless accompanied by a police officer, to collect personal belongings.

 

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"He says his offence did not endanger the safety or welfare members of the public and the conditions are unnecessarily onerous because he lives interstate and therefore must either travel home to find accommodation locally or at his own expense for the duration of his bail," Mr Morton said.

Mr Morton noted Mr Winch's submissions stated the address on Normanby Rd, Camp Binbee, was an educational space used to campaign for various causes and many people stayed there and never broke the law, so there was no evidence to suggest he would commit offences.

Mr Morton said Mr Winch was accused of "dangerous activity" and noted he was in the area of his own volition.

Mr Winch's application to vary his bail was refused and he is due to appear in court again in three weeks.



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