Scrap the unfair rules for Church congregations

The Premier has been asked to address unfair quota rules for Church services during State Parliament this week.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath raised concerns that the Premier’s restrictions for churches and faith organisations were unfair and not based on sound public health advice.

Ms Bath has sought for churches to operate under density and quota rules of one person per 4 square metres, similar to restaurants and pubs.

“The numbers Labor has defined for a variety of activities on the roadmap appear arbitrary and illogical,” said Ms Bath.

“Victoria’s rules are at odds with National Cabinet and the rules in every other AUSTRALIAN state and territory.”

Ms Bath said formal faith services play an important role in the lives of many of her constituents.

“At a time when our community is experiencing social dislocation and significant isolation and stress, our churches play an important role connecting people with their spirituality and their community.,” said Ms Bath.

“A cap of 20 people is unreasonable in such large open physical spaces.

“Services are performed in large open plan facilities and to suggest they are incapable of managing COVIDsafe rules and physically distancing is an incredibly poor assumption on behalf of the Premier.

“Our churches have established their COVIDsafe plans and they are ready to welcome back more followers safely.

“Our community is mindful of the efforts and sacrifices made to achieve zero cases in Gippsland, all congregations are asking for is fairness and consistency in the way the rules are applied in Victoria.

“The Andrews Labor Government must scrap its unjust rules and allow our churches to operate safely with same density and quotas as pubs and restaurants,” said Ms Bath.