Two women disrupted Treasurer Wayne Swan’s post-budget address in the Great Hall, protesting at the government’s shamefully inadequate response to climate change in both this budget and its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
At the same time, seven women locked themselves together in a circle in the main foyer of Parliament, chanting slogans calling for swift and meaningful greenhouse pollution cuts, not handouts to polluting industries.
Meanwhile, outside, two protesters in climbing harnesses abseiled from the front facade of Parliament, hanging an eight metre long banner reading “Carbon Budget Blowout”.
The budget address comes just a week after the Federal Government back-flipped on its promise that their controversial Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme would take effect from next year.
Georgina Woods, spokesperson for protest organisers Rising Tide Newcastle: “The Government has utterly failed to deliver on its promise to take effective action to reduce greenhouse emissions. They will take us to the next Federal election with greenhouse pollution still rising.
“The Budget released last night is a black hole. They are throwing money everywhere but where it needs to be: urgently bringing down greenhouse emissions.”
Legislation for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is expected to be introduced into parliament this week but protestors say the scheme is riddled with problems.
“With just six months till the crucial Copenhagen climate talks, and a Government enslaved to big polluting industries, every parliamentarian must examine their conscience: one day, we will have to explain what we did to our children.”
The eight people arrested were subsequently released without charge.
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