Hundreds of protesters have turned out at Parliament House for a mass roll down the iconic building's lawns before a controversial security fence is put up preventing access.
The mass roll kicked off at 10.30am local time and after being hastily organised by architect Lester Yao. He reportedly had the idea on Monday and by the close of the week had thousands of people on Facebook keen to attend the unique event.
Thank you Lester for this fun event 👍🏼😊 Sejal ChevliPosted by Anjum Daga on Friday, December 16, 2016
— Andrew Brown (@AndrewBrownAU) December 16, 2016
Parliament House's new security measures in action pic.twitter.com/b4mvmSENqg— Stephen Jeffery (@stephenejeffery) December 16, 2016
The action is a response to plans for a security fence to be built at Parliament House that will prevent members of the public from accessing the lawns.
Hundreds roll down Parliament House lawns for one last time pic.twitter.com/X1s6kk1rmm— Andrew Brown (@AndrewBrownAU) December 16, 2016
Ahead of the protest, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull defended the erection of the fence, telling The Huffington Post Australia it was about "getting that balance right" on security, which he described as "critically important".
"We obviously have to find the right balance between security and maintaining public access to our national parliament," Turnbull said.
Architects have been critical of the move, saying a fence will compromise the building's original design intent that was about free access to the lawns.
Even before today's event, Canberra locals have already been getting final rolls in.
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So I just did a ROLL down the Parliament House lawn pic.twitter.com/n2QmSOlJij— Karen Barlow (@KJBar) November 29, 2016