‘Good on you mate’: Bizarre moment Bill Shorten THANKS protesters for ambushing the stage during national Labor conference – before group are eventually dragged off stage
- Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s speech was interrupted by climate protesters
- Mr Shorten took the time to thank the Isaac Astill when he took to the stage
- A group of refugee protesters also made it on stage, further delaying the speech
Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s speech at Labor’s national conference was interrupted before it even began when climate change protesters stormed the stage.
Mr Shorten took the time to thank the individuals who took to the stage in Adelaide to plead with him to reconsider Labor’s stance on the Adani coal mines.
Isaac Astill, 25, appeared on the stage moments after Mr Shorten ascended the staircase in front of nearly 1,400 people, holding a sign saying ‘Stop Adani’.
Mr Shorten was all smiles at first, even going so far as to thank Mr Astill for his opinion.
‘Good on you mate, cheers. Thanks for making that statement. Do I get to keep the flag?’
Protesters of refugee camps also took to the stage in matching shirts and holding a banner, saying ‘its time’ for refugee camps to be closed
Mr Astill handed the flag over, but didn’t take his cue to leave and continued on with his spiel, thanking the opposition leader and saying he hoped his demonstration would encourage him to stop the mine.
By the time the first protester was successfully removed, another cropped up beside Mr Shorten’s other shoulder.
Protesters of refugee camps also took to the stage in matching shirts and holding a banner, saying ‘its time’ for refugee camps to be closed.
National president Wayne Swan intervened and ordered more escorts remove the second protester from the stage, as Mr Shorten watched uncomfortably on.
‘I think our visitor should leave the stage now,’ Mr Swan said. ‘Show him the way out, thank you.’
‘We’re Australia’s oldest political party. We have a proud history of democracy, we all understand the right to protest. But that doesn’t include the right to drown out the leader of the opposition. So could you please leave the stage?’
Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s speech at Labor’s National Conference was interrupted before it even began when climate change protesters stormed the stage
Mr Astill said 80 per cent of Labor supporters believe coal mines are no longer in the national interest
Mr Shorten then told the conference ‘the only people (the group) is helping is the current government’.
‘People have the right to protest but you have to ask yourself – when you see these protesters, who is the winners? It is the coalition,’ he said.
Mr Astill, who handed the flag over to Mr Shorten, said 80 per cent of Labor supporters believe coal mines are no longer in the national interest.
‘Australians are looking for political leaders who will stand up to the mining billionaires,’ he said.
‘Yet Bill Shorten and the Labor Party still support Adani’s mine, opening up one of the largest untapped coal reserves on Earth.’
Donna Smit, another Adani protester, called on Labor to stop the mine.
‘Adani are determined to dig their coal mine but we’re more determined to stop it before the federal election,’ she said.
She said protesters will attend every community and press event during Labor’s conference, which runs until Tuesday.
South Australia Police later confirmed one woman was arrested for trespassing.
Adani has announced it plans to start work on the mine before Christmas.
Isaac Astill (pictured), 25, appeared on the stage moments after Mr Shorten ascended the staircase in front of nearly 1,400 people, holding a sign saying ‘Stop Adani’