Climate extinction protesters hit Cairns

 

BATTLE lines are drawn as Cairns prepares to host the nation's most important intergovernmental forum.

The Council of Australian Governments meeting will bring premiers and chief ministers from all state and federal governments as well as Prime Minister Scott Morrison to the belly of the Cairns Convention Centre.

Police are seen arresting Extinction Rebellion protesters after they blocked the corner of Edward and Queen Streets in Brisbane. PICTURE: AAP IMAGE/DARREN ENGLAND
Police are seen arresting Extinction Rebellion protesters after they blocked the corner of Edward and Queen Streets in Brisbane. PICTURE: AAP IMAGE/DARREN ENGLAND

Climate change activists are mobilising for political action in a similar vein to the protests that have shut down the streets of Brisbane in recent days - although a much smaller and less disruptive affair is expected in Cairns.

An email from Extinction Rebellion FNQ to supporters has called on "rebels" to set up outside the convention centre ahead of the political rally.

Extinction Rebellion protesters on William St in Brisbane. PICTURE: AAP IMAGE/ DARREN ENGLAND
Extinction Rebellion protesters on William St in Brisbane. PICTURE: AAP IMAGE/ DARREN ENGLAND

"The PM and a suite of Australia's political elite are meeting in Cairns on Friday to discuss important things. But not the climate crisis," it said.

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch will not be directly involved in the meeting.

However, he had a message to protesters who might seek to disrupt the event.

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch had some tough words for would-be protesters. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch had some tough words for would-be protesters. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

"I think their welcome is wearing a little bit thin for the average punter," he said.

"They're established as a Marxist-type organisation about anti-establishment and overthrowing democracy.

"Yet if there was a change to a Marxist regime, they would be the first ones getting their heads cut off."

Cairns MP Michael Healy wanted Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to hammer home concerns about hospital funding and push for federal money to upgrade the Kuranda Range Rd and build Nullinga Dam on the Atherton Tablelands.

Environmental pressure group Extinction Rebellion protesters temporary block traffic for seven minutes on a main road in Birmingham, England. PICTURE: JACOB KING/ PA VIA AP
Environmental pressure group Extinction Rebellion protesters temporary block traffic for seven minutes on a main road in Birmingham, England. PICTURE: JACOB KING/ PA VIA AP

"If the Prime Minister stands up and says, 'How good is Queensland?' - well, we can say he is not helping us at all with significant investment," Mr Healy said.

"The state has done the study and identified a nearly billion-dollar cost for Nullinga Dam. So where is the federal money?"

Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the Premier would push for the Morrison Government to boost Bruce Hwy funding.

"We can do so much more, that's why we're asking for the Federal Government to commit to a new deal which would lock in $1 billion a year to support major upgrades over the next decade, overseen by the Bruce Highway Trust," he said.

He said the Federal Government needed to increase its annual commitment to the highway from an average of $666 million to $800 million.