Last week Victoria RSL chief executive Jamie Twidale announced this year the traditional Anzac Day march in Melbourne in April will cancelled because the restrictions put in place by the Daniel Andrews government make it too difficult to organise a public event.
He added it simply wasn’t in the public’s best interest to go ahead with the march.
Meanwhile, over the border in NSW, the RSL has been working with the NSW Government to ensure dawn services, marches, and all other commemorative events can take place, albeit with limited numbers.
Let’s get this clear. Anzac Day is more than two months away. Regardless of the current lockdown imposed on Victorians, there is absolutely no justification behind cancelling the march so far in advance.
If anyone can organise a “safe” Anzac Day march down St Kilda Road on the morning of April 25, I would be willing to wager that Mr. Twidale can.
The decision to cancel the march was mostly a unilateral one and was made without consulting the state government. How can anyone plan anything under the erratic lockdown trigger happy policy settings of the Andrews Government? In NSW, the tendency is to keep things open.
Our veterans and their families, however, can take solace in the fact that although they’re not able to come together to commemorate the thousands of lives lost to protect our precious freedoms, they will probably be able to watch the AFL Anzac Day match alongside thousands at the MCG.
They can also go to the Moomba festival in March. This festival of fun is not being cancelled; it’s just having a few tweaks made to it.
Here we have it. We can’t allow 12,000 veterans, many of whom will most likely have been vaccinated by then, to walk in an orderly and ‘COVID-19 safe way’ for a few hours in April, but we can go to the footy.
The hypocrisy of the Andrews government knows no bounds.
So far, it has allowed crowds to gather at a Black Lives Matter movement protest.
It has allowed thousands of people to gather at the MCG to watch the Boxing Day Test.
And it did everything to make sure that the Australian Open would still take place.
If Andrews really cared about Australia, he would be working night and day with the RSL to ensure that the march goes ahead.