Just days after Channel 10 was given the all clear over her racism row with Yumi Stynes, Kerri-Anne Kennerley has risked the wrath of viewers across the country with a sensational outburst on climate change protesters – claiming on air that they should be used as “speed bumps” or left in jail if they refuse to move.
Protesters have been causing carnage on roads across the country over the last few days as they take to the streets, superglue themselves to roads, chain themselves to buildings and even (in one man’s case) suspend themselves in a hammock from the Story Bridge in Brisbane. And Kerri-Anne couldn’t contain her fury on Studio 10 on Wednesday as the panel discussed the drastic measures the groups are taking to get their message heard.
“Personally, I would leave them all super glued to wherever they do it, like forever,” the 66-year-old said, when discussing a few who had glued themselves to roads in order to make their point. She went on to discuss the man who suspended himself from the bridge in Brisbane, adding: “The guy hanging from the Story Bridge. Why send emergency services to look after or get a moron down? Leave him there until he gets himself out.”
She added: “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.” Clearly not anticipating the outburst, Sarah Harris was seen burying her head in her hands as she said: “Kerri-Anne, God you’re going to get us unto trouble.”
However, not budging from her stance, Kerri-Anne simply replied: “Is that wrong?” Attempting to salvage the situation, Sarah pointed out that while fines are acceptable, jail time may be a bit harsh, but Kerri-Anne replied: “No put them in jail and forget to feed them. Some of the aged care homes around Australia… that would really sort them out.”
Not done there, the Mail Online reports that Kerri-Anne then sent a message directly to protesters, saying: “Here’s an idea. Why don’t all you extremists go to China or Saudi Arabia and do it?
“If we all peddled to work, if we stop doing anything that harms the environment in Australia, it makes no difference. Do it where it is going to count which is China, India and America. Go and do it over there.”
Perhaps realising how far she’d gone, Kerri-Anne eventually asked Sarah: “Was that a bit extreme do you think?” To which Sarah brushed it off and swiftly moved the discussion on.
While many viewers slammed her opinions, it begs the question – where should the line be drawn when she’s invited to take part in an open talk show discussion? Do you think she went too far this time? One person wrote on Twitter: “Someone appears emboldened by the misguided belief SHE was cleared of wrongdoing recently,” while another added: “She should know better.” However one wrote: “A little severe but she has a point.”
Queensland Police confirmed they had arrested 29 people on Tuesday alone, with them ranging in age from 19 to 75. “Around 6am, it will be alleged a man climbed over the Story Bridge and dangled in a harness,” they added in a statement. “Officers negotiated with the man and at approximately 11:30am he was safely brought up by specialist officers and taken into custody without further incident.
“A 49-year-old Brandy Creek man has been charged with unregulated high-risk activity and is due to appear at Brisbane Magistrates Court on October 9.”
In another incident, they revealed two more protesters allegedly locked themselves to a barrel, while another was locked inside a barrel. They added in the statement: “A boat trailer was also blocking the roadway between George Street, Turbot Street and Ann Street. Five protesters allegedly locked themselves onto the trailer using devices.”
And it comes just days after the Australian Communications and Media Authority reviewed a row between Kerri-Anne and Yumi Stynes which aired months ago on the show, eventually clearing Channel 10 of breaching industry standards for airing the heated exchange.
Kerri-Anne sparked a mixed response at the time when she locked horns with former The Circle star Stynes, 43, over the Australia Day celebrations – with Stynes claiming at the time that Kennerley sounded “racist”. Hitting out at Invasion Day protesters in Sydney’s CBD at the time, Kerri-Anne said on air: “What about the 5000 people who went through the streets making their point known? Has any single one of those 5000 people waving the flags saying how inappropriate the day is, has any one of them been out to the outback where children, where babies and five-year-olds are being raped, their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped. They get no education.”
Responding to the ruling, Yumi slammed the decision and insisted Kerri-Anne still wasn’t in the clear. She wrote on Twitter: “ACMA didn’t clear KAK. It cleared Channel 10. ACMA found that KAK’s comments were based on RACE and were capable of ‘generating strong negative feelings…'” She went on to claim she was “sickened by the further gaslighting of indigenous people”.