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Concerns for safety as activists courting sovereign citizen movement threaten "sanctions" against Queensland Police officers

21 March 2023

Concerns for safety as activists courting sovereign citizen movement threaten "sanctions" against Queensland Police officers

Bravus Mining and Resources is urging Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan to act to protect police after anti-fossil fuel activists unlawfully camped on the Carmichael mine near Clermont in central Queensland declared sovereignty and threatened officers with “sanctions” if they do their jobs to uphold the law.

Anti-coal activist Coedie McAvoy has declared himself “Head of State” of the area on Bravus’ mining lease where he and other activists have maintained an unlawful protest camp for 18 months, and demanded that anyone who visits his camp does so on the basis of being a diplomatic visitor from a foreign nation-state.

This includes members of the Queensland Police Service who Mr McAvoy falsely described as “the Gestapo” of a “corrupt … commie (sic) government”. Mr McAvoy’s lawyers from the taxpayer-funded Environmental Defenders Office have written to Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll to tell her police would be subject to “sanctions under Tribal Law” if they entered the camp.

The EDO has not indicated what "sanctions" would apply in the circumstances and Bravus has written to them seeking clarification of the "sanctions" and the withdrawal of the EDO letter.

Mr McAvoy has torn up his Queensland drivers licence and unveiled plans to issue his own drivers licences, passports, and vehicle numberplates to be issued from a “government building” he plans to build.

In video posted to social media last week Mr McAvoy also threatened to take Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles to the High Court “under the Slavery Act” if the Minister does not recognise his “resignation of (Australian) citizenship”.

Other self-declared sovereign citizens including Mr Craig Oldroyd from the Northern Territory have rallied to support Mr McAvoy’s cause. After visiting Mr McAvoy, Mr Oldroyd then travelled as an “emissary” to the gate of the Carmichael mine’s accommodation village where he produced a homemade “certificate of identity” and demanded a meeting with those in charge.

A Bravus Mining and Resources spokesperson said Mr McAvoy’s threats towards people in authority were something Minister Ryan and the Queensland Government must take seriously.

“Mr McAvoy and those staying at his unlawful protest camp on our Carmichael Mining Lease have already attempted to intimidate people working at our mine and have threatened them with violence for just doing their jobs, and now the Queensland Police are facing the same thing,” the spokesperson said.

“Mr McAvoy has derided the Queensland Police Service by likening them to Nazi Germany’s secret police and has called for a guillotine so “heads roll” in a hate-filled rap song directed at the Queensland Premier.

“Others who share Mr McAvoy’s dangerous anti-authority and anti-government ideology are watching what is happening at this unlawful camp and are becoming emboldened by it.

“A sovereign citizen compound wouldn’t be left unaddressed in inner-city Brisbane, and this one shouldn’t be ignored because it is out of sight in regional Queensland.

“Queensland Police have already stated they are investigating an incident in February when Mr McAvoy allegedly assaulted one of our Indigenous environmental rangers while threating to subject the worker to “Tribal Law”.

“That assault followed sinister threats Mr McAvoy made two weeks earlier via social media at respected Indigenous Elders, both male and female, who he challenged to come and fight “in the Bora Ring”.

“We’re fortunate to live in a society where we agree that the law should be applied equally, without fear or favour, to keep us all safe.

“The Queensland Government must ensure its officers who perform the important civic duty of protecting the community by upholding these laws are themselves supported and protected from the likes of Mr McAvoy and those from the sovereign citizen movement who are working with him.”


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