Banning Street Preachers from the inner city.

Principal Petitioner Wayne Smith, Dalby
Date Closed Tue, 15 Dec 2015 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 11 signatures

(View signatures)

Myself and many others are tired of being harassed by street preachers in the Queen Street Mall and surrounding areas. A few weeks ago it was raining and they illegally moved their table of biblical materials under the shop awning outside the Myer Centre, in direct violation of their permit conditions. They were reported to the nearest Council office and Police Beat but absconded before the police could talk to them. Every pedestrian on that side of the street was forced to walk around their table into the rain and they were persistent in approaching every single person with their beliefs. 48 per cent of Australians don't believe in any god and find religion offensive. The rest of the community have a wide range of beliefs taken from over 5,000 mainstream religions and countless other minor ideologies. We want these religious preachers stopped. They are often loud and insulting. I've seen them telling children they are liars and will burn in a fiery pit forever. I myself am constantly accosted with pamphlets. I was called "weak, not very strong and should go join a gym" by an evangelist after he gave me some of his literature. I accepted some of their literature and put it in a bin exactly where it belonged and then paid a fine in court for doing so.

That Council ban street preachers from the inner city.

Council response

Dear petitioners,

The petition was considered by Council at its meeting of 6 June 2016 and I now wish to advise that Council has responded as follows.

The Queen Street Mall (QSM) is the premier shopping and entertainment destination in Brisbane's CBD and is a positive and popular destination for visitors, tourists, families, young people and community groups.

Council notes your concerns about street preachers within the inner city and regrets your unfortunate recent interaction with a specific religious group assembling in the QSM. It is acknowledged that you were offended by the views expressed by this organisation and the alleged behaviour of participants when you tried to communicate with them.

Council’s processes and procedures for management of the QSM recognise a person’s or organisation’s right to assemble peacefully using Council facilities under the Queensland Government’s Peaceful Assembly Act 1992 (the Act). An applicant will be given approval in writing by Council to conduct a peaceful assembly using Council facilities, provided the notice is received by Council at least five business days prior to the proposed date of the public assembly and the applicant conforms to the conditions set out within the Act.

Peaceful assemblies in the QSM are monitored by Council officers and CitySafe CCTV cameras to ensure that they comply with the conditions of the notification letter and regulations stated in the Act. Council officers may take enforcement action under the Public Land and Council Assets Local Law 2014 if any breaches of these conditions are observed. Additionally, Queensland Police Service officers may take appropriate action if there are any identified issues which may impact on the rights and freedoms of persons in a public place or should they be requested to assist Council officers undertaking enforcement action.

Activities such as preaching in the QSM are considered appropriate activities under the Peaceful Assembly Act 1992 and are envisaged by Council’s procedures and policies for management of the QSM. Current controls are considered appropriate to manage peaceful assemblies in the QSM and as such, it would be inappropriate to ban preaching from the QSM.