Around 400 people from throughout the northern rivers converged on Ballina yesterday for a rally calling on the federal government to honour its pre-election promises to protect Medicare, pensions, education and the ABC from funding cuts.
The rally, under the banner of the People in the Park movement, was one of a number of protests nation-wide against Abbott government policies. Those policies have resulted in widespread discontent and sparked the March in March rallies earlier this year which drew more than 100,000 people around the country.
The rally yesterday marched from the Ballina CBD to Missingham Park on the Richmond River, where speakers railed against proposed controversial funding cuts to health, education and pensions.
They also criticised the federal government’s harsh treatment of asylum seekers, its failure to protect the Great Barrier Reef from coal mining and its budget cuts which will hurt pensioners.
Families were later entertained by local musicians.
Organiser, 27-year-old Suffolk Park resident Timothy Pembroke, said the event was designed to break through the political apathy across Australia. ‘It’s about our health, our education, trust, compassion, the seas, the trees, the sky, and our future beyond Tony Abbott’, he said.