The Liberal Nationals call on the State Government to ensure that COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings are complied with and enforced consistently, including in relation to planned protest activities.
Reports today that Victoria Police has issued a plea to organisers to postpone this Saturday’s planned Black Lives Matter protest must be a wakeup call for Daniel Andrews to act in the interest of our health and community safety.
Today, Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said Victoria Police “understands and acknowledges the anger and frustration” of protesters but that “it would indeed be a tragedy if people of good faith and intent coming together to give voice to protest were to give way to the elderly and most vulnerable in our community to be exposed to coronavirus.”
The planned protest would be the single largest gathering since the Chief Health Officer’s directions came into force, with more than 29,000 people having registered as interested or attending Saturday’s event at Parliament House.
The Liberal Nationals respect the reason and right to protest, however in the middle of a health pandemic, everyone has a responsibility to comply with health orders and do the right thing.
Daniel Andrews has been very quick to tell Victorians what they can and cannot do and must now show consistency and act to ensure this event complies with CHO directions and that the health and safety of the broader community is not jeopardised.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety, David Southwick:
“Daniel Andrews cannot hide from this issue and must back the calls of Victoria Police and ensure this protest doesn’t threaten the health and safety of the community.
“Daniel Andrews has been very clear that you can expect a fine for having an extra person over for dinner but is now turning a blind eye to tens of thousands of people at a protest.”