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Young woman is thrown out of a pub election forum for telling Tony Abbott to 'f*** off' for claiming immigration was driving up the price of Sydney property

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 12/04/2019 Lauren Ferri

Tony Abbott smiling for the camera: A young woman was kicked out of an election forum after former prime minister Tony Abbott blamed the rising cost of living and low wages on immigration © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A young woman was kicked out of an election forum after former prime minister Tony Abbott blamed the rising cost of living and low wages on immigration A young woman was kicked out of an election forum after former prime minister Tony Abbott blamed the rising cost of living and low wages on immigration.

More than a hundred residents of Sydney's affluent northern beaches packed into Harbord Beach Hotel in Freshwater during Sky News' pub test on Thursday night.

Local voters were given the opportunity to question Warringah candidates including Mr Abbot, Greens member Kristyn Glanville and United Australia Party's Suellen Wrightson. 

The final question of the evening drew a mixed response from the audience as a young man asked about housing affordability and the rising cost of living on the northern beaches. 

a group of people standing around a table: Local voters were given the opportunity to question Warringah candidates including Tony Abbot (left), Greens member Kristyn Glanville (right) and United Australia Party's Suellen Wrightson (middle) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Local voters were given the opportunity to question Warringah candidates including Tony Abbot (left), Greens member Kristyn Glanville (right) and United Australia Party's Suellen Wrightson (middle)

'In the end the best thing a government can do is provide an economy that's strong … a strong economy maximises job opportunities,' Mr Abbott answered.

'You know what's depressing wages at the moment? You know what's sending house prices and rent up? It's immigration.'

The former prime minister was met with a mix of jeers and groans when Katherine Quirk yelling from the crowd: 'Oh f**k off! You're a migrant, Tony!'

Mr Abbott was born in London, England, and came to Australia in 1960 when he was just two years old, sailing into Australia on the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme ship SS Oronsay before the family settled in Sydney's north. 

a woman holding a dog posing for the camera: Ms Quirk was in line to ask the panel a question as she had an interest in Mr Abbott's stance on the Paris Climate Agreement, the beaches tunnel and the commitment to electric cars © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ms Quirk was in line to ask the panel a question as she had an interest in Mr Abbott's stance on the Paris Climate Agreement, the beaches tunnel and the commitment to electric cars The young woman, studying a Masters of International Relations majoring in environmental politics, was quickly told to be quiet by security before she was ushered out of the venue.

Ms Quirk was in line to ask the panel a question as she had an interest in Mr Abbott's stance on the Paris Climate Agreement, the beaches tunnel and the commitment to electric cars.

'Since the federal election was just called today and is being dubbed ''the climate election'' and we have school students in the electorate who are not even eligible to vote striking, I was really interested in local policy aligning with all these matters,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

Despite desperately wanting to ask a question, Ms Quirk was told she wasn't registered and therefore wasn't allowed before she was eventually cleared to go before the panel and joined the line.

a girl posing for a picture: The former prime minister was met with a mix of jeers and groans when Katherine Quirk (pictured) yelling from the crowd: 'Oh f**k off! You're a migrant, Tony!' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The former prime minister was met with a mix of jeers and groans when Katherine Quirk (pictured) yelling from the crowd: 'Oh f**k off! You're a migrant, Tony!'

'I could see people looking at me and speaking quietly amongst themselves, and heard [Sky host] Paul Murray announce with the questioner before me, that it would be the final question for the night. I was the only questioner remaining,' she said.

When the broadcast finished, Ms Quirk said she was 'shoved over' to the door and was moved to the exit where she was told to leave the venue.

'I was forcibly removed by security and told by the licensee that the only reason to kick me out was that he ''worked for the establishment'',' she said.

'As a young woman who is both passionate and well educated in politics I have never been so disheartened or disgusted in our political system in my life.

'I thought this c--- didn't happen in Australia, but tonight has left me feeling nothing but dismay for our political future in our country, which is an international humiliation, with the highest fossil fuel emissions globally, and growing.'

a group of people standing in front of a store: More than a hundred residents of Sydney's affluent northern beaches packed into Harbord Beach Hotel in Freshwater in the hopes of getting up close and personal during Sky News' pub test

More than a hundred residents of Sydney's affluent northern beaches packed into Harbord Beach Hotel in Freshwater in the hopes of getting up close and personal during Sky News' pub test
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

In the lead up to the event patrons eagerly awaited Mr Abbot's arrival by chanting 'Tony! Tony! Tony!' and hitting their hands on the table multiple times.

Four members of security continued to pace around the small hotel and tell people who would speak up as the panel was being conducted.

A group of eager Northern Beaches residents set themselves up in front of the panel more than an hour before it was due to begin with the hopes of having a clear view of Mr Abbott. 

At the beginning of the night Paul Murray asked the crowd if they had any questions to which one person replied: 'Where is Zali Steggell?' 

'She didn't show up tonight, she didn't show up last time! Is she going to show up for the election?!' another woman yelled. 

Both Independent Ms Steggell and Labor's Dean Harris weren't present at the event, with Ms Steggell telling The Manly Daily she'd only attend community organised events. 

An outpouring of support was seen for Mr Abbott from the crowd who often responded to most of his questions with cheers and applause.

a stuffed animal on display: Satirical superhero for the group, called 'Captain GetUp, even appeared mid-way through the event and attempted to enter the venue via a backdoor © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Satirical superhero for the group, called 'Captain GetUp, even appeared mid-way through the event and attempted to enter the venue via a backdoor Questions focused around topics such as The Beaches Link Tunnel, surf club funding as well as national issues of live exports and activist group GetUp.  

Satirical superhero for the group, called 'Captain GetUp, even appeared mid-way through the event and attempted to enter the venue via a backdoor.

Set up with a GoPro hanging around his chest and a woman following him with another camera, he banged on the door and attempted to enter. 

Security guards rushed from inside the venue to stop him getting inside and forced him to leave. 

Meanwhile, Mr Abbott believes his Sydney electorate will be the 'most fiercely contested political territory in the country' in the weeks leading up to the federal election. 

Ms Steggall is hoping to get rid of the former prime minister, needing a 12 per cent swing to do so, but she has the support of GetUp.

Tony Abbott et al. that are talking to each other: At the beginning of the night Paul Murray asked the crowd if they had any questions to which one person replied: 'Where is Zali Steggell?' (right) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited At the beginning of the night Paul Murray asked the crowd if they had any questions to which one person replied: 'Where is Zali Steggell?' (right)

The group held a national campaign launch in the seat on Thursday, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Australians will go to the polls on May 18.

Mr Abbott says he's is taking the location of the event as a back-handed compliment that he is not a 'washed-up has-been'.

But he also believes it shows he has a serious fight on his hands.

'This is going to be the most fiercely contested political territory in the country in this upcoming election,' he told 2GB radio from the Dee Why RSL on Thursday.

'There's absolutely no doubt that at the moment, I'm the underdog.

'As things stand, I'm going to be way outspent by GetUp, the unions and covert Labor operatives coming into the seat.'

Despite the challenge, Mr Abbott said he has no plans to retire until a tunnel connecting the northern beaches to the north shore is finished, a prospect at least five years off.

'There is no way on God's earth I'm ever going to retire until this tunnel is built.'   

Pictures: Photos from Tony Abbott's career

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