Greens MP arrested outside PM’s house
A Greens MP has been arrested outside Scott Morrison's place amid protests today.
NSW upper house MP David Shoebridge was seen being handcuffed and put in a paddywagon outside Kirribilli House on Sydney's lower north shore as hundreds gathered to protest the Prime Minister being on holidays while Australia is in the grips of a bushfire crisis.
Better diarise this. Arrested and charged with failure to comply with a move on direction at the #ClimateEmergency rally outside Kirribilli House. Interesting fact is that I was trying to comply! Welcome to NSW policing coalition-style. pic.twitter.com/FloWNlkpQd— David Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeMLC) December 19, 2019
Mr Shoebridge took to Twitter to share the court attendance notice he was given.
"Better diarise this. Arrested and charged with failure to comply with a move-on direction at the #ClimateEmergency rally outside Kirribilli House. Interesting fact is that I was trying to comply! Welcome to NSW policing Coalition-style," he wrote.
It comes after an anonymous group wrote an open letter to Mr Morrison's mum asking her to convince him to tackle the climate crisis.
The group of Sydney creatives has created a video and launched a change.org petition asking Marion Morrison to talk to her son on behalf of the Australian people to get him to take urgent action for the climate.
"Because if he won't listen to anyone else, maybe she'll have more luck," the group says.
It's unclear who is behind the video and why they've chosen to stay anonymous.
"The climate is in crisis and despite weeks of breathing toxic air from uncontrolled bushfires across Australia, the government is still ignoring the issue," it writes in its petition.
"There have been mass protests, letters from scientists and fire and rescue services, and other public figures, but Scott Morrison seems to have his fingers in his ears."
The Prime Minister Office has confirmed he is on leave for a few days but is receiving regular updates on the White Island volcano tragedy and the bushfires.
While the group still want to stay anonymous, a member called Pia told news.com.au they were a group of creative people who work across advertising, marketing and media.
"A few of us are mums," she said.
"I personally have an 11-month-old and saw that inhaling the smoke was the equivalent of smoking 34 cigarettes and that's what prompted it."
She said they created the video and petition as a new way of approaching the issue because Mr Morrison didn't seem to be listening.
"The fact he's remained silent through all of this is not what people want," she said.
However, the Prime Minister has visited a number of bushfires zones in recent weeks and made clear he believes climate change has contributed to the bushfire crisis.
Pia said: "The hope is to get as many signatures as possible. I think it's a different way (to approach him) and what we've seen so far is everyone talking to him quite directly about the impacts of what's going on and it all seems to be falling on deaf ears.
"While I don't think it's going to work over other forms of conversation, alongside other conversations it will help."
Pia said the aim was to help the people of Australia rather than target Mrs Morrison.
"I think we were very careful in the tone of what we've created," she said.
"It's not bullying, it's not meant to be mean or distasteful in anyway.
"What it is is a plea for help and to someone has the ability to have an impact on him."
Protesters earlier declared they would stay at Mr Morrison's house until he got back from his holiday.
Hundreds of people have gathered outside Kirribilli House on Sydney's lower north shore this morning to ask, "Where the bloody hell are you?"
The Prime Minister has been condemned for taking a holiday while bushfires rage across the country, with the hashtags #WhereTheBloodyHellAreYou and #FireMorrison trending on Twitter.
Rumours began circulating earlier this week that Mr Morrison was on holiday in Hawaii while devastating bushfires continue but the Prime Minister's office has refused to reveal where he is and when he'll be back.
Nationals leader Michael McCormack confirmed he was acting as the country's prime minister from Wagga Wagga.
Protesters outside Mr Morrison's house are singing climate-themed Christmas carols and holding placards.
Some group shots showing the size of the crowd. It’s 30 degrees, smoky and incredibly humid, but a speaker has just proposed that everyone stay here until Scott Morrison gets back. Huge cheers. pic.twitter.com/jKMUzOIZLP— sam langford (@_slangers) December 18, 2019
The group is using the hashtag #KirribilliCampOut and has set up tents.
Protesters say they will camp there until Boxing Day.
"The tent city isn't moving until he shows up to confront the climate crisis!" the group says on its information sheet.
The School Strike 4 Climate group has also joined the protest with students taking time off school.
Yesterday, model Lara Bingle lashed out at the Prime Minister on Twitter, using the famous "Where the bloody hell are you?" slogan she made famous when Mr Morrison was the boss of Tourism Australia in 2006
Network 10 political editor Peter van Onselen told ABC Mr Morrison was entitled to have a holiday but the secrecy around the trip suggested the PM knew it was a "bad look" and had "slinked away".
"It's not a crime to have a holiday but a cover-up of doing so makes it look shady," van Onselen said.
Footage of Mr Morrison's appearance on ABC panel show Q&A in April 2010 was also unearthed and showed him criticising former Victorian police commissioner Christine Nixon for going to dinner while the devastating Black Saturday bushfires were raging.
"She's clearly made a bad judgment call," Mr Morrison told the audience on Q&A.
"That happens to people from time to time but this was a very serious issue and I think there are very serious concerns in the community about exercising judgment.
"It's incumbent on all of us in public life to make decisions following that in the best interests of the ongoing nature of the program."