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Anzac Day rethink long overdue, but smaller clubs still in the dark

Confusion reigns across Victoria with the Andrews Labor Government still yet to confirm a way forward for Anzac Day services.

Today’s reports the Government is considering a plan to allow 5000 marchers through the Melbourne CBD will come as a relief, after the march was cancelled months out from the event.

In contrast, New South Wales confirmed yesterday it has approved RSL NSW’s request to lift the crowd limit from 500 up to 5000 people.

Shadow Minister for Veterans Tim Bull said it was pleasing to see the Andrews Government had finally listened to the Liberal Nationals’ calls for a rethink.

“Anzac Day is deeply significant for all Victorians to remember those who came before us and fought to protect the life we live today,” Mr Bull said.

“If the Andrews Government claims the health advice is saying there’s a safe way to reopen nightclub dancefloors and have large crowds at festivals, it must find a way for us to remember our veterans.”

With a final decision set to be made on Melbourne’s Anzac Day march, Mr Bull said smaller RSL clubs were still in the dark on what requirements – if any – local Anzac Day services would need to meet.

“Many country communities often have well over 1000 people come together at Anzac Day events across the state – they must be given a clear way forward,” Mr Bull said.

“Local clubs are already looking to plan local services, but they’ve still got no idea what restrictions – if any – the Government will expect a COVID-safe service to meet.

“This should include clear direction on crowd limits and management, and requirements on masks and social distancing.

“Although we all still found a way to come together last year to honour our servicemen and women, the cancellation of Anzac services was deeply disappointing for all Victorians.

“Setting out clear, common sense guidelines will ensure we can all safely come together on Anzac Day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, those who came home and those who still serve today.”

Tim Bull MP

Shadow Minister for Veterans

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