Anti-poverty campaigners demand Newstart rise

Perth anti-poverty campaigners march on October 13.

Anti-poverty campaigners braved the rain on October 13 to march through Perth's CBD, calling for an immediate rise of the Newstart allowance, social housing and an end to welfare drug testing and income quarantining. The protest was part of Anti-Poverty Week events being held around the country until October 20.

This is the second year in a row that the Rally Against Poverty has been organised by the newly-formed Anti-Poverty Network (APN) Perth.

The rally featured a Welcome to Country by Noongar elders Aunty Mingle McGlade and Uncle Ben Taylor, followed by speeches by Western Australian Council of Social Service CEO Louise Giolotti, Greens senator Rachel Siewert and Australian Unemployed Workers Union representative Alan Batesman.

APN's Graham Hansen told Green Left Weekly: "Demonstrations such as these are crucial to bringing our cause to the attention of the general public.

"By joining the voices of community groups, social justice activists and unions out on the streets of Perth, we make visible the actions we can collectively take to achieve a just and equitable society.

“Issues related to income and housing security are becoming increasingly severe in Australia, and we believe grassroots organising and building community solidarity are absolutely essential in the fight for all our rights.”