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"For Fuck's Sake, Malcolm": Refugee Protesters Crash Prime Minister's Speech

"For fuck's sake, Malcolm."

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A woman protesting against Australia's offshore detention centres stormed the stage during the prime minister's speech in Melbourne on Monday afternoon and yelled "for fuck's sake, Malcolm".

Tracey Nearmy / AAPIMAGE

Malcolm Turnbull was only a few minutes into his keynote address at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia when a protester from the Whistleblowers Activists & Citizens Alliance (WACA) came onto stage and interrupted him.

Holding a sign that read "FFS Close the Bloody Camps", the woman stood a few metres away from the prime minister onstage shouting "do the right thing".

A minute passed before security reached the woman and attempted to restrain her.

Sam Castro from WACA told BuzzFeed News the protest was aimed at shaming the PM over leaked incident reports containing allegations of sexual assault, child abuse, and self-harm at Australia’s detention centre on Nauru that were published by Guardian Australia.

"We have known for years that we are torturing, abusing, and indefinitely detaining people on Manus Island and Nauru," she said.

Castro accused the Australian government of torturing more than 1,000 people living in off-shore detention centres.

"It's time for the government to acknowledge that their policy and successive government policy, including the Labor party's policy, has failed."

Up to six WACA protesters joined the heckling from the floor, shouting swearwords and calling on the government to close down Australia's offshore processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

Tracey Nearmy / AAPIMAGE

Audience members say CEDA guests were quite shaken by the interruption, but said the prime minister remained on unfazed.

Organisers cut the lights and microphones to the stage, before police evicted the protesters from the venue.

Protest over Manus and Nauru disrupts @TurnbullMalcolm speech at the @ceda_news conference in Melbourne #auspol

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at

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