Free speech in Australia? Not while we’re on sheep’s back

No price is too high to pay to protect the Aussie woolgrower. With marked contempt for the effect it would have on freewheeling public debate, Peter Costello has introduced a little bill to clobber campaigners against the bloody business of mulesing sheep. But not only them: his strategy will snare anyone calling for customer boycotts.So if you’re asking Australians not to buy lipstick tested on caged rabbits, rugs woven by Pakistani slaves or suits made with mulesed wool, then pray your boycott calls don’t succeed, for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is about to be given the power to sue you out of the water if they do.Gagging public debate with such threats has been an old ambition of the Howard Government.

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