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Student protesters disrupt lecture by former federal Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella at Melbourne University

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Benjamin Preiss

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Protesters force Mirabella out

RAW VISION: Former federal Liberal MP Sophia Mirabella is escorted by security from a Melbourne University lecture theatre overrun with protesters.

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Former federal Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella has been escorted from a lecture at Melbourne University after it was apparently overrun by protesters.

Mobile phone footage shows Ms Mirabella being guided out of the room while people chant.

They appear to be protesting against recent changes to higher education that could result in students paying higher fees and greater interest on loans for their degrees.

A grainy still from an amateur video shows Sophie Mirabella (right of the man in the yellow vest) after rowdy interjections.

A grainy still from an amateur video shows Sophie Mirabella (right of the man in the yellow vest) after rowdy interjections.

The university's computer system was also hijacked with photos of Margaret Thatcher loaded on the screens.

Ms Mirabella later returned to deliver the rest of her lecture on politics and the media, after police and security ejected the rowdy protesters.

The former MP was appointed a public policy fellow at her alma mater in March, in a role the university said would involve her assisting students, delivering lectures and organising public policy seminars and forums.

This year, the Abbott government announced Ms Mirabella would be joining the Australian Submarine Board.

Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop was mobbed by students when she visited the University of Sydney. Security staff had to usher Ms Bishop from the scene while students heckled her.

First-year arts student Kate Lawrence said students were notified last night that Ms Mirabella would deliver this morning's lecture.

She said a group of protesters entered the lecture theatre, including two with megaphones, and began yelling before the former MP was led away.

Some protesters confronted Ms Mirabella at the front of the theatre.

Ms Mirabella also took questions from the students at the end of the lecture. "She came back in and everybody was applauding," Ms Lawrence said.

Police confirmed they were called about 10am to the Grattan Street campus where about 20 protesters were demonstrating.

There were no injuries or arrests. Police have no plans to pursue the matter any further at this stage.

 

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