Mayor pushes Extinction Rebellion ban, condemns Sri
BRISBANE'S Lord Mayor has moved to ban Extinction Rebellion from council facilities and blasted controversial comments by Greens councillor Jonathan Sri on the Queensland Police.
The activist group, which has blocked roads and train lines in the city over the past few months, has been using council's libraries and Cr Sri's offices as meeting places.
Cr Adrian Schrinner said guidelines already in place by Brisbane City Council forbid its property from being used to break the law.
"I am simply saying we should enforce this guideline," Cr Schrinner said.
"There wouldn't be hundreds of people being arrested without law breaking going on."
Labor opposition leader Jared Cassidy slammed the Lord Mayor's motion to ban Extinction Rebellion from facilities as a distraction and not focusing on issues ratepayers cared about.
"He will do everything … to distract from the issues," Cr Cassidy said.
"This Lord Mayor is running scared."
"He comes in here with this ridiculous smokescreen," he said, accusing Cr Schrinner of not focusing on issues of councillor superannuation.
Cr Sri, who represents the Gabba ward, repeated comments accusing the Queensland Police Service as "racist" and "violent."
"I am not surprised that my comments have offended a lot of members of the public," Cr Sri said. "Of course the police use force, of course the police use violence."
"Some people might not like recognising that fact."
Cr Schrinner moved an urgent motion to condemn Cr Sri, saying his comments were disrespectful to police who risk their lives to protect the community.
"To brand an entire organisation in this way is completely offensive and inappropriate," Cr Schrinner said.
"Cr Sri made a very clear statement."
Opposition leader Jared Cassidy said that while he disagreed with the Greens councillor's comments, he believed they should be allowed to be expressed.
"This is a place where we are elected by the community," Cr Cassidy said. "He is entitled to make those views known."
"I do think he has a right to make (those personal views)."
Cr Nicole Johnson said the Lord Mayor had other avenues available to punish the renegade Greens councillor, labelling the motion a stunt.