The federal Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, stated yesterday:
“It’s quite irresponsible what we’ve seen there,” Cormann said. “As I think about the heartbreak of families who haven’t been able to attend funerals for their loved ones because they were doing the right thing by taking the health advice, my heart just goes out to them.”
“I mean, as they see people going recklessly to these sorts of demonstrations, that must be just awful for them to watch. I think it is incredibly selfish. It’s incredibly self-indulgent. And yes, it does impose unnecessary and unacceptable risk on to the community.”
The Victorian state premier, Daniel Andrews, came on TV demanding that people don’t attend these marches, stopping short of banning them. However, he did threaten to impose $1,500 fines to all who violated the social distancing law. It remains to be seen whether he will follow through with his threat.
Following the example of protests and riots in the U.S. over the death of George Floyd, thousands marched in Melbourne and Sydney demanding justice for Australian Aboriginies. State and successive federal governments have turned a blind eye for decades over to the shameful treatment and incarceration of these people. The protesters sought to highlight this, wake up all Australians that something must be done to end it, and prompt all governments to finally act.
State and the federal government is shedding crocodile tears over these protests, pretending concern for the community’s health if COVID-19 spreads as a result of these marches, continuing to ignore the underlying reason for them. Will governments act? It is very doubtful. People can change state and federal governments in the hope of change, but if the Labor Party and the Coalition are not prepared to act once in power, and they have not acted for decades, nothing will be done, Aboriginies will continue to be discriminated against.