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Ex-senator arrested, Qld questions protest

Two premiers have questioned the effectiveness of protesters to stop climate change as thousands of activists disrupted major cities in a bid to force governments to declare a climate emergency.

Dozens of Extinction Rebellion demonstrators including a former Greens senator have been arrested since protests began on Monday, with marchers blocking roads and causing other disruptions in Australian capitals in the latest action on Tuesday.

They want governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero within five years and insist they have a moral duty to raise the alarm.

But Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's office questioned their methods for saving the planet, adding her government regularly spoke out on climate change and had a 50 per cent renewable energy target for 2050.

"The question to those blocking roads would be what are they doing?" a spokesman told AAP on Tuesday.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews commented in a similar vein, saying, "I don't know that shutting the city down necessarily wins you many friends".

In Melbourne, 59 people were arrested after demonstrators converged in the Melbourne CBD at the intersection of Collins and Spring Street to dance on tram tracks and block traffic.

Of those, 35 people were fined for failing to abide by traffic directions, while 24 people were arrested for resisting an emergency service worker and will appear at court at a later date.

In Sydney, protesters dressed as bees "swarmed" Sydney's Hyde Park to demand "our leaders take strong action on climate change so that we have a future in farming in this country".

Former Greens senator Scott Ludlam, one of 38 people arrested in Sydney on Monday, told AAP demonstrators were "like the smoke alarm in a burning building".

Ten protesters were arrested in Brisbane on Tuesday including Paul Jukes, who suspended himself below Story Bridge in a hammock to urge the premier to declare a climate emergency.

Mr Jukes said he could stay there for days, but climbed up into police custody after only six hours, having voiced concerns about recent bushfires, particularly at Binna Burra in the Gold Coast hinterland.

In Perth, Seven West Media, the owner of The West Australian newspaper, published a blank front page for demonstrators to use as placard messages.

There were no arrests reported in Adelaide, where about a hundred protesters blocked a road to the city central market.

© AAP 2019