Protest in park hits at budget

MORE than 500 people are set to protest against the federal budget in Launceston today.

The event, which starts at 11am in Prince's Square, includes speakers ranging from the Salvation Army's Kevin Lumb to Health and Community Services Union state secretary Tim Jacobson.

Co-organiser Nathan Greene said the peaceful protest was likely to draw people from all walks of life.

"The effects of the budget are widespread and not positive, so many people in Tasmania will be affected in a negative way," he said.

"We have gone out of our way to make this representative of the community, not to push the party line. It's good to see people get out there."

Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic yesterday accused the Protest in the Park of being organised by Labor and the Greens.

He said he had received an email with a "thinly veiled demand to attend".

"The speakers include Labor Senator Ann Urquhart and Greens Senator Peter Whish- Wilson, who were part of the Labor-Greens government that caused the debt and deficit disaster confronting Australia," Mr Nikolic said.

"They were obviously given the courtesy, not afforded to me, of early advice about this so-called public event."

Mr Greene said the protest was not affiliated with any political parties, although he acknowledged that some organisers were party members, and he said Mr Nikolic was emailed once council approvals were given for the event.

Palmer United Party senator- elect Jacqui Lambie was also invited to the event and has offered her support.

Mr Greene said a similar event was planned for August.

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