Rally to target Abbott’s policies

AN organiser of a rally in Wodonga to protest against the federal government says the ultimate plan is to ensure Tony Abbott is a one-term prime minister.

But Liberal MP for Farrer Sussan Ley yesterday defended her government, saying it was getting Australia “back on track” for everyone.

Wodonga is the latest of cities across Australia that will host a “March in March” rally — it will be at Woodland Grove at 11am on Sunday week.

The rallies are effectively aimed at expressing a vote of no confidence in the policies and actions of the Abbott government thus far.

According to the March in March website, more than 30,000 people nationwide have registered their interest in attending a protest.

The Border rally has been organised by North East Border Trades Labour Council.

Secretary Chip Eling said he had been “flabbergasted” by the positive response since announcing it this week.

Participants will be encouraged to voice their opinion on whatever government policy most worries them.

Mr Eling said the biggest concern for the trades and labour council was workplace relations and the fear of “an assault” on wages and penalty rates.

“We saw that come out with SPC, where in their rhetoric the government tried to blame the workers’ conditions for the financial situation,” he said.

“They did it with Ford and they did it with Holden.’

He said the rally was a chance for people to get together but that ultimately the plan was “to ensure Abbott gets one term in government and that’s it”.

“In the short term I’d be very surprised if a bigger, better group opposed to the government doesn’t emerge.”

Ms Ley, the Assistant Minister for Education, said she valued and respected every person’s right to have their say in a peaceful manner.

“Albury-Wodonga is a large and diverse community and no doubt there are always some who believe governments can do things a different way,” she said.

“We were elected to get Australia’s economy back on track so that everyone, not just selected interests, can get ahead, and this is what we are doing.”

Liberals for Indi field officer Karen Rourke said she believed the protests, or calls for a one-term government, were pre-emptive.

“There are a lot of things that are being looked at through the Productivity Commission so I suggest there needs to be time to allow those things to play out,” she said.

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