Protester heckles Australian PM’s climate speech

In Australasia, Governments & Politics, News Headlines, Protests & Campaigns

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was heckled by rowdy protesters on Friday as she announced her new climate change policy ahead of next month’s elections.

Security staff tackled one demonstrator to the ground and led him away in handcuffs, while chanting could be heard through much of Gillard’s address at a Brisbane university campus.

The prime minister made a slight pause and smiled briefly during the disturbance as she announced a community-based “citizens assembly” to advise on climate change.

“In my view, the consensus we build must be stronger and must go beyond the notional political consensus. We need community consensus,” she said.

The initiative means the government can delay a decision on an emissions trading scheme, which was twice blocked in parliament and then shelved, hitting the credibility of ex-leader Kevin Rudd.

But Gillard said she backed a “market-based” solution to pollution, which the Labor government has pledged to cut by five percent from 2000 levels by 2020.

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