Court puts brakes on man’s plan for coronavirus protest

A MAGISTRATE took about 10 minutes to refuse a Gold Coast man the ability to protest during the coronavirus restrictions.

Magistrate Cameron McKenzie took Arjay Martin step by step through how his application to hold a protest was not valid.

Mr Martin had applied to hold a protest against the coronavirus restrictions with his group Reset Parliament Australia in Surfers Paradise on Sunday.

He estimated he would have more than 99 people attend.

Magistrate McKenzie said the notice was not valid as Mr Martin had not provided police with proposed stopping points and how long they would stop somewhere.

"You can't just be carte blanche, " he said.

Magistrate McKenzie said it was a strict requirement of the Public Assembly Act that police be provided with any stoppage points to ensure the public was able to enjoy public space and business was able to continue.

Arjay Martin wants to hold a coronavirus restrictions protest this weekend. Photo: Facebook
Arjay Martin wants to hold a coronavirus restrictions protest this weekend. Photo: Facebook

He pointed out that without providing notice of stopping points, the protest could stop outside a business for two hours.

Magistrate McKenzie accepted the police application that the protest could not go ahead.

 

"Mr Martin or any other member or person associated with Reset Parliament and or Reset Parliament Australia is prohibited from forming or holding any public assembly or protest on 31 May 2020," he ordered.

As no location was specified, the order means that Mr Martin will not be able to hold a protest anywhere in Queensland on Sunday.

Outside of court Mr Martin told reporters he had been authorised to hold a protest in Brisbane tomorrow.

"That goes to show that the decision to refuse our... protest was not done correctly," he said.

Mr Martin claimed the coronavirus restrictions were "unconstitutional" and had not been made legally.

The Oxenford man wishes to start a political party with one of the main goals to establish an upper house in Queensland.

According to documents filed in the Southport Magistrates Court, police attempted to mediate with Mr Martin but attempts to come to an agreement were unsuccessful.

Mr Martin took to his Arjay Martin for Australians Facebook page to ask for supporters to go to the courthouse with him this morning, claiming COVID-19 restrictions did not apply to the court.

However, during the pandemic the court has not been allowing the general public access and only those directly related to a case are granted access to the building.

Some lawyers and defendants are still appearing at court via audio or video link.

Originally published as Legal bid to stop man planning coronavirus protest


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