Ten people have been arrested after environmental activists abseiled off the Sydney Harbour Bridge to demand action on climate change.
The Greenpeace supporters launched themselves from a public walkway on the western side of the structure at dawn on Tuesday, calling on the major federal political parties to declare a “climate emergency”.
They unfurled banners emblazoned with “100% renewables” and “make coal history” as they dangled beneath the bridge.
Security staff detained several people but some managed to climb under the roadway.
Officers from New South Wales police, with help from PolAir, marine and rescue crews, removed several protesters from the bridge. Ten were taken to local police stations for questioning.
Three activists remained hanging off the bridge on ropes, with officers working to get them down safely.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s chief executive, David Ritter, dismissed questions about the legality of the protest action.
“The activities today are like a smoke alarm when the house is on fire … it’s a wake-up call to the prime minister who is not acting in the face of this climate emergency,” he said. “He still has time before polling day to make a statement.”
Ritter said Australia needed a prime minister who showed leadership and would phase out coal-fired power stations.
The protest comes four days before Australians head to the polls in the federal election.