Premier Colin Barnett was today confronted by two giant bees as the nurses union tried to highjack the Liberal Party’s first major election announcement to protest against rises to hospital parking fees.
Australian Nursing Federation state secretary Mark Olson turned up unannounced to a press conference on tougher penalties for home invasions at an eastern suburbs house.
Flanked by two giant bees, dubbed “parking B1 and B2”, Mr Olson warned it was the first of many appearances during the election campaign.
“We’re here to let the Premier know, and I hope he comes out because he’s been avoiding me for the last couple of years, we’re here to let the Premier know that we’re going to be following him,” he said.
“You know the politicians like to try and avoid us. We’ve got two of them – we’ve got one for (Health Minister) Kim Hames and one for the Premier just so we don’t miss them over the next four and a half weeks.
“I could use some really tacky puns such as we’ll be buzzing around for the next four and a half weeks. We will be here with parking B1 and parking B2.”
Mr Olson said they wanted to remind the Premier that nurses were not happy.
He said he expected nurses at Fremantle Hospital to today follow their colleagues at Royal Perth Hospital and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and adopt work bans.
Mr Olson said nurses wanted a fair wage rise and argued neither police nor teachers paid for parking.
“We don’t object to paying for parking. We accept the fact that we pay for parking, we just don’t appreciate a 700 per cent increase in parking fees,” he said.
After holding the press conference, Mr Barnett walked up to acknowledge Mr Olson and his bees.
“Okay, how are you going,” Mr Barnett asked the bees after shaking their hands.
Mr Olson then repeated his claims to the Premier, to which Mr Barnett nodded.“OK Mark, good on you, OK, cheers.”
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