Chip mill protesters convicted, fined

Two chip mill protesters who trespassed onto the South East Fibre Exports (SEFE) site and locked on to conveyor number 5 on December 16, 2013, have each been convicted and fined on two charges in Bega District Court on Tuesday.

23-year-old Haley McClure from South Australia and 34-year-old Jamie Jobson from Western Australia  entered guilty pleas to two charges; 1. Hide property to unlawfully influence person, and 2. Entering closed lands.

Each received a $500 fine and a criminal conviction for the first charge. 

On the second charge they were both fined $450.

Speaking from outside Bega District Court, SEFE general manager Peter Mitchell was somewhat disappointed with the outcome.

“I feel half-satisfied; at least we got a conviction,” Mr Mitchell said.

“They got off relatively lightly.

“I still don’t think it (the fines) are enough of a disincentive.

“These people almost flippantly disrupt the industry. They should be dealt with more severely.

“There were some safety issues as a result of their actions.

“This will continue to happen until they realise they can be jailed for up to two years."

A further matter, argument regarding $10,000 in compensation payable to SEFE, has been adjourned until May 6.

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