PROTESTERS at Shoalwater Bay have cost police hours of work and tens of thousands of dollars.

That was the blunt assessment from police prosecutor Senior Constable Manon Barwick as five of those caught trespassing on the site of exercise Talisman Sabre faced Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday.

All were found inside the military training ground at various times on Tuesday and were held at the Rockhampton watch house overnight when they refused to sign bail. Snr Const Barwick said responding to protests at the site had cost police more than $50,000 and prevented them from attending serious emergency situations.

The first to plead guilty to trespassing on the site was Nicholas John Deane, a 68-year-old who was found 4km inside the perimeter.

Deane's defence solicitor said he had spent over a decade writing submissions on the US-Australian alliance and was "very passionate" about the issue.

She asked that a conviction not be recorded so that Deane could continue to carry out his Justice of the Peace duties.

She also asked that certain items seized from Deane be returned, including a camping knife on a string and other equipment used by Deane's uncle in the battle of Dunkirk.

Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll said he had no choice but to record a conviction as the offence came under Commonwealth law.

Deane was convicted and fined $500 and all property was forfeited. James Joseph Dowling told Mr O'Driscoll he did not want to enter a plea because he didn't recognise the court's authority and the case was adjourned to August 5.

Andrew William Paine asked for an adjournment to seek legal advice and, after initially refusing to sign bail conditions, was bailed to appear on July 27.

David Anthony Sprigg pleaded guilty to trespassing on the military site and was convicted and fined $500.

Shane Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of trespassing on the military site and one of entering the area with photographic equipment.

Snr Const Barwick said photos of military vehicles and personnel were found on Anderson's phone when he was taken to the Rockhampton watch house.

Anderson was convicted and fined a total of $600.



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