On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, as postal survey ballots concerning marriage equality were arriving in the mailboxes of voters across the country, another (less well publicised) example of where democracy was at in Australia could be spotted under construction in the nation's capital: a big ol' security fence around the lawns of Parliament House. 

In November of 2016, on the last sitting day of the year, 40 pro-refugee protesters glued themselves to a banister in the House of Representatives' chamber, chanting "close the camps" and "bring them here". They were forcibly ejected and legislation was rushed through the same day approving the building of a 2.6-metre perimeter fence around the house lawns. The fence has been called part of “an authoritarian ‘Fortress Australia’ approach”, but a 2014 parliamentary report was damning, citing numerous ways our house of democracy is insufficiently safe.