Riot police were called in to control hundreds of protesters who threatened to march on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth this morning.

Inside the venue, the 54 nation meeting got underway without a hitch.

Caitlin Ritter reports.


Queen Elizabeth officially opened CHOGM this morning at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The ceremony began with bells and orchestral music, with the leaders then being introduced.

Australian values were highlighted during the opening ceremony, as well as the issues that would arise over the course of the meetings.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “Values we can put to work in addressing some of the most pressing concerns that face our world , like climate change, financial stability and food security.”

Queen Elizabeth: “Prime Minister Gillard, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your kind welcome. I’m delighted to join you all here in Perth for a meeting that promises to bring new vibrancy to the Commonwealth.”

The 85-year-old monarch of all the Commonwealth nations who’s already spent more than a week in Australia, then formally declared CHOGM “open”.

Queen Elizabeth: “Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to declare open this twenty-first meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government.”

Today’s program ends with a banquet given by the Queen for the Heads of Government and their partners.

Tomorrow will be another full day with more business and social gatherings and the CHOGM retreat at Kings Park in central Perth.

Caitlin Ritter, QUT News.