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NSW coalition flags potential hardening of protest laws

A re-elected NSW coalition government would consider strengthening already strict protest laws after a climate change activist who blocked traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge had a jail term overturned.

Deanna "Violet" Maree Coco's 15-month sentence was wiped by a District Court judge on Wednesday after the court heard police made a false assertion and she was now channelling her diagnosed climate anxiety into productive community work.

The 32-year-old and three others parked a truck on the Harbour Bridge during morning peak traffic in April 2022, as part of an environmental protest against climate inaction.

She was among the first people charged after the NSW parliament hiked penalties and expanded the reach of laws targeting those who block traffic on major routes.

Metropolitan Roads Minister Natalie Ward on Thursday said any court decision was independent of government but forecast potential changes.

"We will always put community safety first," she told AAP in a statement.

"We will continue to monitor the operation of the new laws, but if needed, will strengthen them when parliament returns."

The laws were expanded and penalties strengthened because protesters who stop commuters from going about their daily lives, "put themselves and other drivers at risk".

"There are plenty of legitimate ways to protest in a safe and lawful way," Ms Ward said.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said there was no place in NSW for the behaviour displayed by Ms Coco, who happens to be the niece of cabinet minister Alister Henskens.

"If you want to protest in NSW, you're free to protest. But when you protest, you do not inconvenience people across NSW," he told reporters on the campaign trail for the March 25 state election.

Labor leader Chris Minns also didn't resile from the action parliament took last year, saying the current penalties would remain if he won government at the election.

During some of the March and April 2022 protests, 250,000 cars weren't able to get to work, home or around Sydney. Emergency services were hampered.

"They were knocking out half of Sydney," Mr Minns said.

"I thought it was undermining community confidence in support for action on climate change."

The NSW Greens have warned they won't support a possible Labor minority government unless there is an agreement to repeal the laws it considers anti-protest and undemocratic.

Judge Mark Williams on Wednesday replaced Ms Coco's jail term with a 12-month good behaviour bond, in spite of prosecutors arguing for some form of a jail sentence.

The judge noted the offender was remorseful and was now channelling her diagnosed climate anxiety into productive community work.

He also noted the original sentence, imposed after Ms Coco pleaded guilty, was partly based on a false police assertion that the protest impeded an ambulance on its way to an emergency.

Coco, 32, served 13 days in custody before being bailed, pending appeal. She intends to sue NSW Police over her time in custody.