Activists interrupt PM’s carbon tax address

Over 80 protesters were asked to leave the parliament for chanting “No mandate” and “Democracy is dead” from the public galleries, upsetting question time with harmonized protests as Julia Gillard’s government protected the way of the carbon tax through the lower house.

Around 120 anti-carbon tax protesters from the Consumers and Taxpayers Association came to the parliament, with four disruptions during question time. While protests persisted, Ms Gillard told parliament: “I say to those in the gallery who are properly exercising their right to be there: this is a reform the Australian nation needs.”

According to speaker Harry Jenkins, he would not close the galleries “but if anyone else wants to get something off their chest, do it now”.

Protester Sonja Silic, 54 said: “Legitimately, Tony Abbott should have been in The Lodge. Political prostitution is how Julia got in. She said no carbon tax and now we’ve got the carbon tax. Why? Because she sold herself to the Greens, to (independents Rob) Oakeshott, (Tony) Windsor, and (Andrew) Wilkie, to just about anybody she could sell herself to.”

The group’s director, Peter Madden, said he had presented to Tony Abbott and Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce an appeal of 34,000 signatures opposing the tax because the group had “lost confidence in this government”.

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