Hundreds of Tasmanians will converge on Parliament Lawns from 12 Noon today in response to massive job cuts and a wage-freeze flagged in the Liberal’s first State Budget.

Nurses, teachers, doctors, ambulance officers, firefighters, transport and construction workers will be amongst the crowd, which is also protesting the State Government’s extreme and draconian Anti-Protest Laws.

Thousands of teachers from across the State who could not attend today will be represented by personally signed pledges of support in paper apple cut-outs placed on the Lawns.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said unions will fight to protect the rights of Tasmanian workers.

“Unions have fought for generations to ensure Australian workers have the right to bargain collectively for decent wages and conditions and we will continue to fight to make sure Tasmanian workers are not stripped of these hard won and important rights.

Annie Butler, the Assistant Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation said more than 7,000 Tasmanian nurses and midwives would not accept the broken promises and lies of the new Liberal Government.

“The Federal Government recently brought down the most devastating budget in decades. With the Tasmanian Government’s plans for this State Budget, it seems Will Hodgman wants to take us from devastation to total despair.

Unions Tasmania President Roz Madsen said the Government appeared determined to take away workers’ rights and steal their wages.

“Instead of sitting down and talking with workers and unions the Government is proposing to enforce its wage-freeze through legislation which ends collective bargaining in the public sector, rips-up legally binding workplace agreements and overrides the independent industrial umpire.

Mat Johnston from the Community and Public Sector Union said the Premier had lied to the Tasmanian people.

“Will Hodgman never said the Liberals would break wage agreements that workers and the Government agreed to in good faith. This is a dangerous and unprecedented course of action, it’s a breach of international law, and it must not be allowed to pass the parliament.

Health and Community Services Union Secretary Tim Jacobson said the Premier was set to announce massive job cuts that he promised wouldn’t happen.

“The sad truth is you simply can’t trust anything this Premier says. Job cuts of this magnitude will cripple public services in this State and will have a serious impact on our economic recovery.

For further information: Adam Clarke – 0448 672 449