Women’s March 4 Justice LIVE updates: Parliament House, Sydney, Melbourne protests to take place over gender equality

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‘He needs to come out’: Women’s March 4 Justice organisers refuse PM’s private meeting offer

Organisers of the Women’s March 4 Justice protest rally have rejected Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s invitation to meet privately in Parliament House on Monday.

Mr Morrison on Sunday cited his busy schedule in refusing to attend the planned Canberra rally in person, instead issuing an open invitation for a delegation from the women’s march to meet with him.

The marches, which are taking place around the country, follow historical rape allegations against Attorney-General Christian Porter and claims from several women that they were sexually assaulted by a former Liberal staffer. Mr Porter has vehemently denied the allegations.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued an invitation to marchers to meet with him privately after getting his second coronavirus vaccine jab in Sydney on Sunday.Credit:Edwina Pickles

Organiser Janine Hendry said she “read the room” in choosing to decline Mr Morrison’s invitation for a private meeting.

“We’ve come to the prime minister’s front door, I’d like to see him walk across the threshold and come see us,” she told ABC radio.

Read the full story here.

Who will be taking the stage today?

Australian of the Year Grace Tame, an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, will be the headline act at Hobart’s March 4 Justice. She will be joined by Tasmanian aboriginal activist Nala Mansell and family violence survivor Natalie Hocking, among others.

Aboriginal elder Dr Tjanara Goreng Goreng will take the stage in Canberra, along with Saxon Mullins, whose five-year court ordeal and appearance in Four Corners story I Am That Girl, led to consent law reform in NSW. They will be joined by former refugee turned author and CEO Aminata Conteh-Biger and ACTU secretary Sally McManus. Australian TV presenter Julia Zemiro will host the event.

Saxon Mullins, who underwent harsh cross-examination in a five-year rape trial, will speak in Canberra today.Credit:Janie Barrett

Speakers at the Melbourne rally will include former state Greens MP Huong Truong, who has experienced domestic violence, former federal Liberal MP Julia Banks, who left politics after raising concerns about the bullying and intimidation of women and Jamila Rizvi, a political commentator, former advisor to the Rudd and Gillard governments and a columnist with this masthead.

In Sydney, the lawyer Michael Bradley, who represented the now-deceased woman who alleged she was raped by Attorney-General Christian Porter in 1988, will speak. Mr Porter has strongly denied the allegation. He will be joined by Indigenous businesswoman and community leader Marie Barbaric and journalist Jess Hill, author of See What You Made Me Do which was awarded the Stella Prize in 2020.

Organisers have urged attendees at all marches to don black clothing, wear a mask and bring banners, posters and hand sanitiser.

Tasmanian MP first Liberal woman to confirm she will join women’s march

Tasmanian MP Bridget Archer is the first female Liberal MP to confirm she will attend today’s Women’s March 4 Justice at Parliament House in Canberra as Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued an open invitation for leaders of the event to meet with him.

Ms Archer told The Age that as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse she would attend to stand in solidarity with those marching at more than 40 events nationwide, including every capital city.

“I have pledged to do more to address violence against women”: Tasmanian Liberal MP Bridget Archer.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“I have pledged to do more to address violence against women. It is time for change – as a parliamentarian I want women to know – I hear you, I see you, I am listening to you,” said Ms Archer, the first Liberal woman to represent the electorate of Bass in Tasmania.

The rallies demanding action on violence against women are expected to attract large crowds, with thousands marching in Perth on Sunday. Crowds will gather at Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens and Sydney Town Hall at noon AEDT and and hour later in Brisbane’s King George Square.

Read more here.

Welcome to our live coverage of the Women’s March 4 Justice rallies

Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of the Women’s March 4 Justice rallies across Australia.

Tens of thousands of Australians are expected to hit the streets at 40 rallies today, through major cities and regional towns. They will follow in the footsteps of thousands of women, men and children who turned out at protest marches yesterday in Perth, Cairns and the regional NSW town of Bellingen. Their motivation? In essence, equality for women.

Thousands marched in one of the first Women’s Marches 4 Justice rallies in Perth on Sunday.Credit:Lauren Pilat

In Canberra, a petition addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be presented to the federal parliament today, demanding action on gendered violence. It requests four immediate actions:

  • Independent investigations into all cases of gendered violence.
  • Fully implementing the 55 recommendations in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s [email protected] report of the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces 2020.
  • Lifting public funding for gendered violence prevention.
  • A federal Gender Equality Act.

We have reporters and photographers at rallies across the nation, and will bring you all the news as it happens. And if you’re attending a rally, feel free to get in touch with pictures, posters and your thoughts on why today’s marches are important.

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