alerts us to an effort in Victoria, Australia, by the current government to pass a law that could lead to fines up to $11,945 if you dare to insult gaming minister Michael O'Brien
. The law claims that it is "reasonably necessary to respect the rights and reputation of the minister and authorised persons" which includes a ban on any attempt to "assault, obstruct, hinder, threaten, abuse, insult
or intimidate" gaming minister Michael O'Brien. His political opponents are using the opportunity (before the bill passes, only, of course!) to mock O'Brien and the bill. But, his office is actually trying to defend the bill:
Asked why the new "offence" law was necessary and what its intention was, a spokeswoman for Mr O'Brien, Emily Broadbent, tried to deflect attention away from the minister, despite his title being clearly attached to the legislation.
"This provision protects officers of the gambling regulator from bullying or intimidation when exercising powers at the direction of the Minister for Gaming," she said.
"The minister can look after himself, but does not believe that those working on his behalf should have to put up with harassment."