Charges dropped

CHARGES have been dropped against a climate protestor who daubed Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk’s electorate windows with anti-gas slogans.

Fern Huck, 61, who describes herself as having been an “obedient, responsible wife, small business owner, employer, mother and now grandmother” before taking to the MP’s window with liquid chalk, was arrested in December and charged with two counts of criminal damage.

She pleaded not guilty and was planning to fight the case on “points of law” before discussions between her lawyer Julian Hosgood and the police prosecutor saw both charges dropped a fortnight ago.

The public prosecutor’s office also agreed to pay a $4708 claim for legal fees.

“I wonder if the article in the Herald about my very benign and peaceful action may have been politically embarrassing enough to have me arrested and charged two weeks after my move on notice,” Ms Huck said (“Wife, mum … rebel,” Herald, December 5, 2021).

“I’m grateful for the positive comments and feedback from Herald readers.

“I remain determined to continue to speak up and act for future generations of all species.

“At this critical moment in human history, we must keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.”

Citing UN secretary general Antonio Guterres’ comment that countries which were increasing fossil fuel production were “truly dangerous radicals” compared to protestors such as herself, Ms Huck said her action was aimed at highlighting the government’s lack of appropriate action.

“The WA government, complicit with the worst polluter in Australia – Woodside – is one such dangerous radical,” she said.

Ms McGurk said she was proud of the McGowan government’s record in environmental reform, including the “nation-leading phase out of single-use plastics; ending logging in WA native forests; record allocation to state and national parks; and committing to close state-owned coal power stations by 2030. 

“We are also investing an estimated $3.8 billion in new green power infrastructure around the state,” Ms McGurk said.

“Vandalising my electorate office achieved nothing except to upset the hardworking staff who work in there. 

“The decision to not proceed with charges was made by WA Police.” 

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