The Prime Minister has broken his five-day silence on the Melbourne protests and has one message for the demonstrators.
The Prime Minister has hit out at the protesters who stormed the streets of Melbourne.
Thousands rallied against the Victorian government’s proposed Pandemic Bill on Saturday, chanting and yelling as they held up signs reading “kill the bill” and “f*ck Dan Andrews.”
Disturbingly, one protester even appeared to be carrying a fake gallows, complete with three nooses as they marched.
Scott Morrison broke his five day silence on the event on Thursday, slamming those who had turned to displays of violence.
“I don’t support any of it,” the Prime Minister said.
“Those threats and intimidation have no place in Australia.
“We’re a peaceful society. When we have disagreements, we don’t handle them with violence – and there can be no tolerance for that. And there should be no tolerance.”
Mr Morrison acknowledged the frustration of the protesters, even hinting that he personally disagreed with Victoria’s proposed pandemic bill.
If passed by the state upper house, the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill will allow the Victorian Premier to declare a “state of pandemic”, triggering the state health minister’s power to issue broad public health orders to significantly restrict activities and movement.
Some Liberal politicians refused to condemn the protesters. Others even appeared to encourage the uprising.
Victorian Liberal MP Bernie Finn told the crowd of protesters on Saturday they needed to “kill” Dan Andrew’s proposed pandemic bill.
“This bill, it’s so evil. It’s so wrong. It’s something that must be defeated,” Mr Finn said.
“Despot Dan wants to become an emperor. Enough is enough.”
The Prime Minister insisted that while extra government powers were necessary during the pandemic over 2020 and 2021, this was no longer the case.
“Over the last couple of years, governments have been telling Australians what to do – there’s been a need for that,” Mr Morrison said.
“Australians have done an amazing job when it comes to leading us through this pandemic.
“Now it’s time that governments to step back and for Australians to take their life back.”
Mr Morrison even hinted that restrictions would soon end for anti-vaxxers in Australia as the country climbs towards the 90 per cent double dose target.
“We’re not in favour of mandatory vaccines imposed by the government. Businesses can make their own choices under the law, but we’re not about telling them what to do,” he said.
“People should be able to go to a coffee and get a cup of coffee in Brisbane, when we’re over 80 per cent regardless of whether you’ve had the vaccine or not.”