Kerri-Anne Says Climate Protesters Should Be Used As 'Speed Bumps'
Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley has slammed Extinction Rebellion activists for blocking cities nationwide, saying ‘moron’ protesters should be jailed and ‘forget to feed them’.
On Wednesday, the discussion between the Studio 10 panel turned to controversial laws proposed in Queensland to crack down on the Extinction Rebellion protests.
Queensland, Brisbane especially, has been the epicentre of the demonstrations in recent months -- as activists focus on the Adani coal mine -- but this week, the protests have gone Australia-wide.
Up to 100 people were arrested on Tuesday, as protests disrupted Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.
Protesters could face jail time, under the new laws floated by the Queensland's Labor government.
When asked by host Sarah Harris if the measures were "too extreme", Kennerley said she felt this wouldn't be enough.
"Personally, I would leave them all super glued to wherever they do it, like forever ... the guy hanging from the Storey Bridge. Why send emergency services to look after, or get a moron down? Leave him there until he gets himself out," she said.
"No emergency services should help them, nobody should do anything, leave them there, and you just put little witches hats around them, or use them as a speed bump."
Harris put her head in her hands, saying "you're going to get us into trouble!"
"Is that wrong?" Kennerley said, down the barrel of the camera.
At the end of the show, the hosts addressed the comments, with Harris saying "you were obviously not inciting violence, it was a joke."
"Heavens no," Kennerley replied.
Harris continued to say "you were speaking in hyperbole."
"I was speaking like you said," Kennerley said.
Network 10 said in a statement that Kennerley's words were "said in jest".
"Kerri-Anne confirmed that she was indeed speaking in hyperbole and her words were clearly a joke. There was no intent to cause offence. Over the past few days, Studio 10 has extensively addressed a range of opinions on this subject," a spokesperson said.
During Wednesday's Extinction Rebellion segment, Harris asked whether jail time was "a bit out there", suggesting heavy fines instead.
Kennerley disagreed. "No! Put them in jail and forget to feed them," she said.
"Put them in some of the aged care homes around Australia, some of the aged care homes. That would really sort them out."
"Annastacia Palaszczuk (Queensland's leader) is absolutely right. It's not only an inconvenience. Protesting, fine, but do it where you don't upset or have to use emergency services. Emergency services are not for morons."
Harris replied by saying: "if you really want to help the environment, go plant a tree."
When host Joe Hildebrand suggested that activists should "come up with a protest that lasts longer than this show," Kennerley jumped in again.
"Why don't all you extremists go to China or Saudi Arabia and do it? That's my idea," she said.
"If we stop doing anything to harm the environment in Australia, makes no difference. Do it where it is going to count, which is number one China, number two India, number three America. Go and do it over there."
Extinction Rebellion protests are scheduled to continue until Sunday, with one such demonstration planned to "bring Perth CBD to a standstill" with an event titled "flood the city".
A Saturday "nude parade" event will be held in Melbourne, while Sydney's Coogee Beach will host a "sea-mergency" protest, where activists will "enact the death of sea species" due to climate change.
More than 100 people have been arrested across the country, including former Greens senator Scott Ludlam at an event in Sydney.
Those arrested in Sydney have been slapped with strict bail conditions, such as not entering the city's CBD and not associating with other members of the protest group.