Three separate protest groups gathered outside parliament on Thursday opposing Aboriginal deaths in custody, changes to Medicare and Coal Seam Gas exploration.
As part of a national day of action against Aboriginal deaths in custody, a group of protesters gathered outside parliament. The action was originally sparked by the death of a 22-year-old West Australian woman, known as Ms Dhu, in August. At the time of her death she was serving a jail sentence for a $1100 fine.
The action in Perth reportedly caused WA Premier Colin Barnett to be mobbed by protestors on the steps of Parliament House. Mr Barnett later made a personal commitment to work with his ministers to reduce Aboriginal deaths in custody and promised a full investigation.
Another group of protesters, opposing privatisation and the introduction of a co-payment for medicare, rallied at Martin Place before marching on Parliament. A $7 payment would be applied to doctor’s visits under the new plans.
Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union Nadine Flood told the protestors that it was just the start of measures to privatise public services.
“It is the thin edge of the wedge and signals the beginning of the end of Medicare, as we know it today,” Ms Flood said.
The two groups were also joined outside the gates by opponents of Coal Seam Gas exploration in NSW.
– Produced, written and photographed by Andrew Leeson