Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced ANZAC Day services, parades and commemorations will go ahead this year as the state begins to return to normal.
“Initially we were looking at alternative venues, whether we could do the march around a stadium, around the EKKA, and when we presented this to Dr Young, Dr Young said, ‘Everything can go ahead as per normal, as in the past’, so this is fantastic news,” Palaszczuk said.
“In times of strife, Queenslanders do what it takes to protect each other.
“We’ve done it in wartime, and we’re doing it now through the global pandemic. Because we’ve worked together to keep safe, this year we can safely gather to mark the sacrifices of those who have served.”
After last year’s restrictions on the services, RSL Queensland President Tony Ferris said the news was “hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck stuff”.
“The communities and our veterans will now be able to step out with their comrades and continue down the path of remembering those veterans who have served, those who have given everything and those that are currently still serving,” he told the ABC.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young they were working towards a “more normal way of life”.
“We do not have community transmission here in Queensland today, and we probably don’t have any community transmission anywhere in the country today and that’s what the difference is,” Dr Young said.
“Remember these services are perfect in a COVID environment we know that the risk of spreading COVID-19 outdoors is very, very, very low.
“So for the parades, the dawn services, the vast majority of those more formal events are outdoors.
“Once people go indoors the risk increases but we have processes in place that will continue to be in place.”
But it was a different situation in Victoria, with Premier Dan Andrews under fire for an event “double standard”.
RSL Victoria announced earlier that the annual ANZAC parade would be cancelled for a second year in a row. However, the SummerSalt music festival saw thousands of revellers descend on the Mornington Peninsula this week.
Victorian Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier said the Andrews Government was showing inconsistencies around events.
“Victorians have seen so many inconsistencies and double standards under Daniel Andrews and this is just another example,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
“You have to wonder what expert medical advice Daniel Andrews is receiving when there is one rule for certain groups of people and another for others.”