There’s still uncertainty on whether local ANZAC Day services will go ahead, with the Andrews Labor Government today refusing to commit to clarifying the rules by the end of the week.
Smaller RSL sub-branches are pleading with the Government to increase crowd limits and provide clear instructions on what rules police will be enforcing on attendees and organisers of local services.
In State Parliament today, Acting Minister for Police Danny Pearson refused to guarantee there will be any more detail available by the end of the week – despite it now being five weeks out from April 25.
Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs Tim Bull said long delays to approve COVID safe plans had led to some sub-branches deciding not to go ahead with elements of ANZAC Day, while others were fearing they may have to cancel marches and community breakfasts at the last minute.
“ANZAC Day is an important day for all Victorians to reflect and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and to honour all those who have served our country,” Mr Bull said.
“This is one of the major annual events the Andrews Labor Government should have made plans for long ago – instead of leaving clubs in the dark five weeks out and with little time to have COVID safe plans approved.
“Lifting the crowd limits for outdoor ceremonies will take a lot of the pressure off small clubs that attract crowds larger than 1000 people.
“While Victoria continues its run of days without community transmission, it makes sense to apply common sense.”
While marches and commemorations have the green light in every other Australian state, Victorians continue to fall victim to the Andrews Government’s chaos and inability to get the basics right.
“We all want to see events run in a COVID safe way, but without further direction from the Andrews Labor Government by the end of the week, more clubs are saying they’ll have no choice but to cancel,” Mr Bull said.
“COVID lockdown meant we couldn’t come together last year to honour our service men and women, now bureaucratic hold ups are putting 2021 services at risk.
“The Andrews Labor Government must urgently set out clear guidelines for local RSLs, including on crowd limits, social distancing, crowd management and the wearing of masks.”