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PM jeered in Perth over refugees

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Refugee rights activists have disrupted the Prime Minister’s opening of a medical research facility in Perth, with one protester shouting out “you are scum”.

Tony Abbott was almost drowned out while speaking at the new Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research building at the QEII complex in Nedlands on Tuesday when the protesters interrupted.

The small but vocal group of about 20 placard-wielding activists chanted “open the borders, close Manus, free the refugees”, “not Manus Island, not Nauru, Tony Abbott, coming for you” and “Tony Abbott racist coward, you are even worse than Howard”.

They chanted at the beginning of the speeches and paused during the welcome to country ceremony, but piped up again when Mr Abbott took to the stage.

“It’s nice to have the hallelujah chorus over there,” he said to the VIP crowd.

Mr Abbott had earlier toured the facility, where scientists are researching illnesses including cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

He was in the West Australian capital to campaign for Liberal candidates in the April 5 Senate election re-run.

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