Victorians across the state have been deeply concerned by footage of the arrest of a woman in Miners Rest on charges of incitement relating to a planned anti-lockdown protested in Ballarat on Saturday.
Victoria Police continue to perform an outstanding job in difficult circumstances yet the community rightly expects consistency of enforcement and everyone to be treated equally before the law.
This arrest stands in clear contrast the Andrews Labor Governments green light to 10,000 Black Lives Matter protesters in June and 250 CFMMEU members protesting at a Hawthorn East worksite in July, events which sent a clear signal to every Victorian that it is ok to protest as long as it is not against Premier Daniel Andrews.
Current COVID-19 restrictions are in place to protect the health and safety of the community. With new COVID-19 cases remaining stubbornly high and more Victorian lives and livelihoods lost every day – no one should be protesting in public or encouraging others to deliberately breach the Chief Health Officers directions.
This incident has demonstrated an unacceptable inconsistency in the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions and Daniel Andrews must now answer why it is one set of rules for left-wing and union protesters and another set for anyone critical of his government.
David Southwick MP
Shadow Minister for Police