Australia

'Time politicians did something': Greens MP among arrested at Kirribilli climate rally

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge is arrested by police during the December protest outside Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Sydney residence. Source: AAP

Students rallied outside Scott Morrison's Sydney prime ministerial residence to demand action on climate change.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge was among 10 people arrested by police outside Sydney’s Kirribilli House as they demanded the prime minister take action on climate change. 

Demonstrators rallied outside Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s official Sydney residence on Thursday, protesting the PM’s overseas holidays as unprecedented bushfires burn across the state. 

Some protesters had vowed to camp out on site until the PM returned from holidays until they were confronted by police on Thursday afternoon. 

A protester holding a photograph of her property destroyed by bushfire is arrested outside of Kirribilli House.
A protester holding a photograph of her property destroyed by bushfire is arrested outside of Kirribilli House.
AAP

Mr Shoebridge, a NSW Upper House Greens MP, was among those protesters charged with failing to move on. 

He took aim at Mr Morrison, saying it was high time politicians left parliament to join the community demanding climate action. 

Climate protesters launched a
Climate protesters launched a "camp-out" at Scott Morrison's Sydney prime ministerial residence. However, they were moved on by police.
AAP

“I was here on solidarity with these students demanding action on climate change, I think it’s important that at least one politician came out to support them,” he told SBS News after being released. 

“It’s about time that politicians got away from the special interests that trap them in parliament and got out and engaged with the community to fight climate change. 

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“Climate change is real and it’s time politicians did something.” 

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge speaks with police ahead of his arrest and eventual charge.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge speaks with police ahead of his arrest and eventual charge.
AAP

Mr Shoebridge, who alleges he was trying to comply with police directives to move on when he was arrested,  will face Manly Local Court on 16 January. 

“This protest was mostly students who were sitting in a cul-de-sac, they weren’t blocking access or getting in the way,” he said. 

A NSW Police Force spokesperson confirmed 10 people – including one juvenile – were arrested. 

Not all of them were charged, with several of the protesters instead just issued a fine. 

The Greens MP is led from the scene of the protest by police.
The Greens MP is led from the scene of the protest by police.
AAP

Some of the demonstrates were clad in Hawaiian shirts, while others carried placards asking "ScoMo where the bloody hell are ya?" and "When do our firefighters get a holiday?"

Protesters set up tents outside Kirribilli House.
Protesters set up tents outside Kirribilli House.
SBS News/Rosemary Bolger

Mr Morrison is rumoured to be holidaying in Hawaii with his family.

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has defended the timing of Mr Morrison's break.

"Everybody deserves a holiday." Mr McCormack said.

"Everybody deserves a break, he worked hard this year, achieved great things for Australia." 

However, the decision to take a break during a horror fire season has come under fire.

Protesters say the prime minister's holiday is badly timed.
Protesters say the prime minister's holiday is badly timed.
Rosemary Bolger

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