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Australians hold rallies to slam budget cuts

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Australian demonstrators have taken to the streets across the country to protest against the government’s budget cuts.

The Sunday protest, dubbed Bust the Budget, saw over 6,000 people show up in Sydney. The ralliers were waving trade union flags and holding budget-protest placards.

As many as 30,000 people, including union members, lawyers and nurses, braved the cold weather in Melbourne to gather at the Queen Victoria Gardens. Similar protest rallies were also reported in Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin.

The demonstrators voiced their opposition over planned federal cuts to health and welfare spending. Several of the government’s budget measures, including changes to jobless benefits, a higher pension age and deregulation of university fees have also been criticized as unfair.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott “is making life harder for people,” the leader of the Australian Greens Christine Milne told reporters on the scene, adding, “He’s making life a misery for people who are unemployed and searching for work.”

The Greens leader also called on the incoming senators to listen to the community and block budget measures.

“Tony Abbott is a ‘crash or crash through’ prime minister. We have to make sure that in response to this budget we make sure he crashes.”

Authorities noted that there had not been such anger at a budget during the past three decades in Australia.

No arrests or incidents were reported during the rallies.


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