Rally aims to demand a fair go

Alan Lappin: government needs to stop taking the hard line. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
Alan Lappin: government needs to stop taking the hard line. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

BORDER residents planning to rally today in Albury in response to the federal government’s “harsh” budget say they won’t give up until they are heard.

The region’s second public rally will be held at QEII Square.

An inaugural gathering was held last month where participants demanded a fairer Australia.

“The government needs to stop taking the hard line,” said rally spokesman and a former independent candidate for Indi, Alan Lappin.

“There’s been no key shift on areas worrying people like socio-economics and unemployment, particularly youth unemployment.

“It’s crazy stuff asking people to put in for 40 jobs a month; it’s unfair and unAustralian.”

The rally will be led by the March Australia Albury-Wodonga and Region committee.

Farrer MP Sussan Ley and member for Indi Cathy McGowan have both been invited but have advised they have prior commitments.

Labor candidate for Benambra Jennifer Podesta will show her support.

“I will be at the rally in Albury-Wodonga letting Abbott and co know what I think of their harsh budget,” she tweeted earlier this week.

Mr Lappin encouraged people to attend, show their support and sign a petition to take to parliament.

The committee hopes to improve on the numbers of those who attended the July rally.

“We had about 300 people on a cold and rainy day,” Mr Lappin said.

“Hopefully we will have better weather and can attract about 1000 people,” he said.

“One thing is for sure, we won’t stand down.

“If we don’t get a favourable response, we aim to go bigger and better.”

Among the speakers will be Professor Rob Watts talking about economics and the federal budget and Dr Susan Lawler discussing environmental issues including global warming.

Father Peter MacLeod-Miller will be speaking about problems caused by poverty, and Cr David Thurley will speak on the issue of refugees.

The rally will be held from 11am.

The committee is planning another rally in October.