Anthony Albanese blasts Greens over blockades on MPs offices in heated row over Gaza conflict

Dan Jervis-Bardy and Katina Curtis
The Nightly
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives for Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives for Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING Credit: MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has accused the Greens of spreading misinformation about the Gaza conflict and supporting blockades of MPs offices in a major escalation of the political row over the Middle East.

Mr Albanese is among a host of Federal politicians whose offices have been targeted by pro-Palestine supporters since the outbreak of the Gaza conflict.

The Prime Minister’s electoral office in Sydney’s inner-west has reportedly been closed since January because of safety concerns.

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During question time in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Albanese took aim at the Greens MPs who were participating in the protests.

He said the blockades were stopping constituents from seeking vital help to deal with Medicare, social security or migration issues.

“Enough is enough,” Mr Albanese said. “The time for senators and members of parliament to continue to attend and inflame tension outside these offices must end.

“The fact is that denying people the right to seek that assistance achieves nothing. And tragically, that undermines the cause that protestors purport to advance.

Mr Albanese said that he had supported justice for Palestinians his entire life, warning the Greens and their supporters that their actions were undermining the cause and alienating the Australian public.

He also accused the Greens of spreading misinformation, including about motions debated in Parliament.

“All of us have a responsibility to prevent conflict in the Middle East from being used as a platform for prejudice here at home,” he said.

Senator Payment on Wednesday quit as secretary of Labor’s international and legal caucus committee, after last week stepping aside from two parliamentary committee positions.

Pro-Palestine protestors last week vandalised the Melbourne offices of Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and NDIS Minister Bill Shorten, including with the spray-painted words “you are complicit in genocide”.

There are no suggestions the Greens had any involvement in those attacks, or similar ones on other Labor MPs offices in recent weeks.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton joined Mr Albanese in condemning the Greens before attacking pro-Palestine activists and calling out antisemitism.

“We’re seeing now the offices of elected members of Parliament being targeted with red paint, with vile messages of hate and discrimination and antisemitism, and it should be condemned. And the Green should condemn it instead of condoning it,” Mr Dutton said.

Greens leader Adam Bandt
Greens leader Adam Bandt. Credit: TheWest

Greens leader Adam Bandt said Mr Albanese and Mr Dutton were misrepresenting his party’s stance to distract from their complicity in the Gaza war.

Mr Bandt said all sides were united in condemning antisemitism and islamophobia.

“We also condemn the invasion of Gaza,” he said. “I will not be lectured to about peace and nonviolence by people who back the invasion of Gaza.”

The Greens leader then tried, unsuccessfully, to move a motion calling on the Federal Government to end all military exports to Israel.

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