Message comes through

STANDING ROOM: Protesters listen to speakers on Bull Street. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

STANDING ROOM: Protesters listen to speakers on Bull Street. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Students, pensioners, union members march in Bendigo

AS IT HAPPENED: Bust the Budget rally in Bendigo

ALMOST 12 months to the day since Joe Hockey cut the ribbon on Liberal House Bendigo, the building saw a gathering of a different kind.

Held to highlight the one year mark since the now federal treasurer spoke on Bull Street, the Bust the Budget rally attracted up to 400 protesters on Tuesday.

Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said the treasurer should have mentioned the government's plans for its first Federal Budget.

"He failed to tell the people of Bendigo that his first Budget would be a shocker.

"It would not only attack the most vulnerable - it would attack uni students, it would attack people on a disability pension, it would attack everybody.

"Bendigo today has stood up and sent a message to Canberra that they don't like it and they're not going to stand for it."

Protesters with flags, banners, placards and megaphones strode down View Street and Hargreaves Mall.

The Health and Community Services Union was particularly prominent, with their "Certainty for Sandhurst" banner leading the procession.

The National Union of Workers, Australian Education Union and local ambulance members also marched in numbers.

A bus brought students from La Trobe University Bendigo campus to take part in the march, which lasted for about an hour and turned plenty of heads down Hargreaves Mall.

He failed to tell the people of Bendigo that his first budget would be a shocker. - Lisa Chesters

Shadow Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Brendan O'Connor was the first speaker on the podium in Bull Street.

He said it was important for Bendigo to have a voice on the national stage.

"It's cuts to pensions, it's cuts to students, it's imposition of taxes on the sick," he said.

"It is an unfair Budget and it is completely opposite to what the Prime Minister said before the election."

Held more than one month after a nationwide Bust the Budget movement in capital cities, marchers chanted for the sacking of Tony Abbott and Denis Napthine.

Patron Senator for Bendigo Michael Ronaldson chose to ignore the protest.

"The Bendigo community recognises that the Coalition is taking the hard and necessary decisions to clean up Labor's mess," he said.

"Labor's debt is already costing about $1 billion a month in net interest payments and that's borrowed money.

"No country can go on paying the mortgage from the credit card."

Ms Chesters said she would use opposition from Bendigo to try and block Budget measures.

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