”People are saying no, they don’t want it” … a protester at the anti-carbon tax rally in Sydney. Outspoken … Alan Jones addresses protesters.
THE world didn’t end yesterday but Australian democracy died, according to protesters who gathered to make their voices heard in opposition to the carbon price.
About 2000 people marched from Hyde Park to Belmore Park to hear Bronwyn Bishop speak against the government’s Clean Energy Bill, while a much smaller group in Melbourne heard the broadcaster Alan Jones refer to climate change science as ”propaganda”.
”The notion of global warming is a hoax,” Jones told a group of about 150 people on the steps of the Victorian Parliament. ”This is witchcraft. Commonsense will tell you it’s rubbish; 97 per cent of all carbon dioxide occurs naturally … 3 per cent around the world is created by human beings.”
Jones’s station, 2GB, was reprimanded by the Australian Communications and Media Authority last month, after he made multiplication errors in his calculations about atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.
In Sydney, Ms Bishop said the government was trying to use climate change to hold onto power. ”The government is trying to frighten the nation into accepting the need for it, but the Australian people are saying no, they don’t want it,” she said.
”Australia doesn’t have too many international advantages, but one place it does have an advantage is cheap electricity.”
Ms Bishop and a Liberal MP, Craig Kelly, repeated the opposition’s line that MPs would swear a ”blood oath” to repeal the carbon price legislation immediately after the next federal election, should the Coalition win government.
Mr Kelly also accused the government of using ”fear tactics”.
”The worst thing that they’re doing is that they’re scaring our kids,” he said.
The protests were far smaller than last year’s rallies in support of a carbon price, but there was no shortage of placards.
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was depicted as a Soviet army officer and a snake-haired Medusa, while there was also a sprinkling of other banners and signs referring to ”illegals” and ”boat people”.
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