Protester arrested as Libs promise GetUp crackdown
A PROTESTER was arrested at the state Liberal Party's annual general meeting as a Liberal MP who was harassed during the campaign welcomed a crackdown on left-wing lobbyist group GetUp because of "vile, personal attacks" during the federal election campaign.
A male climate change protester holding an Aboriginal flag was grabbed by police officers and slammed to the ground after trying to enter the conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
He was taken through the venue by police.
More than a hundred protesters from disparate group greeted Liberal MPs and party members as they arrived at the conference, urging for submarine jobs to remain in SA, bemoaning the State Government's "privatisation agenda" and calling for action to address climate change.
The protests came as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced he would "shine a bright light" on GetUp over "vile personal attacks" on his candidates during the federal election campaign, including Boothby MP Nicolle Flint.
He said the group's conduct in Boothby was "misogyny" and "bullying". He foreshadowed making the group more transparent but said he'd have "more to say about it as time goes on".
"This is no longer a wolf in sheep's clothing. GetUp is a wolf in wolf's clothing and I think Australians are seeing that," he said.
"I thought their behaviour in the most recent election was disgraceful." The tough stance was welcomed by Ms Flint, who said protesters outside the convention centre had engaged in the "sort of bullying and intimidation and harassment that the unions and GetUp! are famous for".
"I was very pleased to see the Prime Minister's comments today. He's been very supportive of me … and we will be working together to ensure we're holding GetUp to account in the future so they can't continue to get away with their appalling behaviour during election campaigns," she said. GetUp national director Paul Oosting said none of the events Mr Morrison referred to in his speech could "fairly be attributed to GetUp or out supporters" and labelled his attacks on their independence undemocratic.
Premier Steven Marshall, who arrived through another entrance, said he wasn't trying to avoid the protesters and it was "really important to be speaking to people that have got different points of view and different perspectives".
"But we've got to make our decisions in South Australia in the best interests of the state overall and I'm convinced that that's precisely what we're doing," he said.
Mr Marshall said the issues being protested outside the conference were "important" and the Government was working towards all of them.
He said he wasn't avoiding the protesters, saying it was
"We're trying to grow the economy, grow jobs in South Australia. We certainly want to secure the ongoing submarine sustainment work in SA," he said.
The Liberal Party elected all four vice-presidents from the party's right faction at the AGM, with moderate incumbents Clementina Maione and Cara Miller both defeated.