A fire at the doors of Old Parliament House in Canberra has caused extensive damage to the front of the building as protesters were dragged away by police.
Just before 12pm on Thursday ACT Emergency Services were called to the scene to find the front doors alight.
A group calling itself “Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccinations” live-streamed the fire.
The building was evacuated as a precaution and crews extinguished the blaze.
Social media footage depicts police dragging protesters away from the front steps of the building. It also shows a large fire burning on the doors.
The group Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccinations has taken credit for today’s Old Parliament House protest on its Facebook page, where it livestreamed this morning’s fire pic.twitter.com/M1UIbpskxY
— Frances Vinall (@fvinall) December 30, 2021
The building was set on fire by protesters on December 21 and there have been daily protests outside it since December 26.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was “an absolute disgrace” if the fire was deliberately lit.
“This is the parliament that for so long underpinned the freedoms we have as a democracy and made the decisions that formed us as a nation, fighting for the increase of rights and corrections to our colonial past,” he said.
“If someone is trying to make a statement then it is a very bad one that will be received with overwhelming disgust.”
The building is now home to the Museum of Australian Democracy.