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VIDEO: Two people charged for protesting superboats

UPDATE 4.20PM: THE two environmental activists involved in staging a protest against the Australian Offshore Superboats Race.

Both protesters were arrested charged with contravening a police direction, with Ms Hill also charged with obstructing police.

They are expected to appear in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on December 15 at 9.30am, and have been released from police custody.

UPDATE 2.30PM: EVENTS portfolio councilor Darren Everard says the Australian Offshore Superboats Race protest could have ended in tragedy had it not been stopped.

The protest, staged by former mayoral candidate Lee Carter and activist Linda Hill, was held out of concern for the safety of marine wildlife.

Cr Everard said the race organisers scan the race-course for animals, using vessels and a helicopter.

He said in the past, the race had been stopped after a turtle was spotted.

Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Linda Hill is arrested by police.
Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Linda Hill is arrested by police. Alistair Brightman

"There's never been any sea creatures that have been injured or killed [because of the race] to my knowledge," Cr Everard said.

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Cr Everard said the protest had not been worth the risk.

"Those boats travel at a pretty high-range speed, if those guys had been out and been hit,  it could have been a fatality, and innocent people [drivers] who were following  the rules could have had their lives ruined."

Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter talks with police before being arrested.
Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter talks with police before being arrested. Alistair Brightman

UPDATE NOON: ARRESTED protester and scientist Lee Carter showed no remorse as he was escorted by police off Scarness beach for his attempt to stop the Australian Offshore Superboats Race on Sunday morning.

The protesters were planning on having the event cancelled because of their concerns for the effects on marine wildlife.

Following the short protest, another Fraser Coast conservationist, Roger Currie, said there was no scientific evidence that the race caused boat strikes or serious harm to marine life.

SUPERBOATS PROTEST: Marine scientist and activist Lee Carter was also arrested for protesting the event, at Scarness beach on Sunday.
SUPERBOATS PROTEST: Marine scientist and activist Lee Carter was also arrested for protesting the event, at Scarness beach on Sunday. Eliza Wheeler

"There's no data at the moment to show that, if we had data from Parks and Wildlife to show there has been significant strikes and mortalities in relation to the boat race, then they'd have a case to answer for," Mr Currie said.

"I think it casts a shadow on legitimate scientific conservation advocates… it's a shame to see these people trying to do media stunts to attract attention to an issues that may not be occurring."

Mr Currie said there was "no doubt" that the race had an impact on marine life, but added it was "only for a short time".

Minutes before his attest, Mr Carter said the weekend-long race was "an offence against the Nature Conservation Act".

Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Linda Hill is arrested by police.
Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Linda Hill is arrested by police. Alistair Brightman

"They're promoting a bureaucratic exercise… to run an illicit event," Mr Carter said.

"The water police should stop the races, not be harassing people on the beach."

EARLIER: TWO people attempting to protest the Offshore Superboat Championships were arrested at Scarness Beach on Sunday morning.

The pair, believed to be Lee Carter and Linda Hill, had planned to row into the exclusion zone in an attempt for organisers to cancel the race.

Their plan was not successful: they were arrested before their boat touched the water and the first race started on time at 11am.

Topics:  editors picks offshore superboat championships



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