A cloud of uncertainty surrounds Remembrance Day services after the Andrews Government refused to clarify how many people can gather at local services in state parliament today.
Under questioning from The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath, Labor’s Minister for Veterans Affairs, Shaun Leane failed to provide the clarity RSL sub branches are seeking for Remembrance Day commemorative services on 11 November.
Ms Bath said RSL sub-branches are in the dark around the Andrews Government’s CovidSafe protocols and event restrictions for Remembrance Day– rather than answering the question Minister Leane created further confusion during question time.
“Remembrance Day is only a month away and RSL’s desperately want to avoid the debacle of ANZAC Day where the Andrews Government locked out veterans and their loved ones from services.
“The only information provided by Minister Leane was no person can attend an event in Victoria unless they are double vaccinated, which includes Remembrance Day services.”
Asking the question on behalf of the Traralgon RSL, Ms Bath said the minister’s pathetic response poses more headaches than solutions.
“The Minister today indicated that attendees at outdoor commemorative services, “must be fully vaccinated” – so will the Andrews Government expect local services to be fenced, ticketed and policed?
“Under the Andrews Governments State of Emergency laws, it is the state government’s responsibility to direct the CovidSafe rules, not the RSL.
“It would disrespectful, cruel and unfair if the Andrews Government allowed 10,000 people to attend the Melbourne Cup, but nine days later restricted Remembrance Day services to only a handful of people.
“The Andrews Government must expediate its decision and give RSL sub-branches directions on CovidSafe protocols so more people can safely attend local events to honour our fallen soldiers.”
Shadow Minister for Veterans and the Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said there are a multitude of unanswered questions around the rules limiting outdoor events with fully vaccinated people to 50 per cent capacity.
“Our cenotaphs don’t have capacity limits, so clarity is required on how many will be allowed to attend these commemorations and veterans and families who are not vaccinated are asking if they will be permitted to attend.
“Remembrance Day is a special time for people to gather and honour all those who served, and in particular those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
“We are simply seeking answers on behalf of those that are contacting us and the Andrews Government must provide the volunteers who are organising these ceremonies with the information they need.”