PROTESTS at Shoalwater Bay against exercise Talisman Sabre have so far cost police over $50,000.

One of the protesters arrested yesterday morning, Nicholas John Deane, was fined $500 in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court this morning after pleading guilty to trespassing on the site.

The court heard Deane, 68, was found inside the military training area with camping and cold weather items and refused to leave when approached by members of the Australian Defence Force.

He was arrested and held in the Rockhampton Watchouse overnight after refusing to sign bail.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Manon Barwick said Deane, and other protesters, had cost police over $50,000 in responding to incidents at Shoalwater Bay and prevented them from attending emergency situations.

Dowling only Talisman Sabre protester to plead not guilty
Dowling only Talisman Sabre protester to plead not guilty Chris Ison

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 described his actions as a "last action to bring this (issue) into the public forum".

She asked that a conviction not be recorded so the Sydney grandfather 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. All property seized by police was forfeited.



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