Bust the budget! Thousands of Australians protest Abbott’s austerity (PHOTOS)

Photo from Twitter/@k4_kennedy

Photo from Twitter/@k4_kennedy

Simultaneous mass protests have taken place across Australia to protest against Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s austerity budget, with the largest protest seeing an estimated 20,000 people marching.

Up to 15,000 people, organizers say, turned up for a rally at
Sydney’s central business district. Police put the figure at

The march started at Town Hall and continued along George Street
and up Market Street.

Christine Milne, leader of the Greens, told journalists that the
protest was borne out of frustration against planned federal cuts
to health and welfare spending.

“[Abbott] is making life harder for people. He’s making life
a misery for people who are unemployed and searching for
she said.

Local residents, when asked why they came to the rally, listed
among the reasons of discontent the treatment of asylum seekers,
changes to disability care, cuts to education, and a higher
pension age.

Mark Lennon, from Unions New South Wales, said the latest federal
budget was unfair, adding that there hadn’t been such outcry over
a budget in 30 years

“Not only is it unfair, it is deliberately unfair, because
this is not just about the budget, this is about a change of the
agenda for this nation. This is about a change in the
philosophical direction of the country,”
he told WAToday.

The protest was peaceful, and security forces said there had been
no incidents during the event.

The largest protest in the country was held in Melbourne, with
Trades Hall claiming that 20,000 people gathered for the rally:
representatives of various unions, as well as teachers,
firefighters and nurses.

Moderate-sized protests also took place in the South Australian
capital, Adelaide, and Perth, the capital of Western Australia.

In Brisbane, Queensland, about 800 people took to the streets to
march, while police said about 1,000 people marched, AAP

In Canberra, the protest featured a three-meter-high Tony Abbott
puppet with smoke coming out of his trousers.

Hundreds converged on the lawns in front of Parliament House and
chanted, “One-term Tony” and “Liar, Liar, Pants on
at the puppet.

No one was arrested in any of the cities, Queensland, NSW,
Victorian and SA police told AAP.

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