ANZAC Day back on in Melbourne, questions remain for regional Victoria
ANZAC Day commemorations have been reinstated in Melbourne, after they were cancelled a long way out by the Andrews Labor government. Improvement in the state's pandemic response and sustained advocacy from the Coalition opposition has led to thousands being given the green light to march and attend on 25 April.
Coalition spokesperson and shadow minister for Veterans Affairs, Tim Bull, told FlowNews24 on Thursday morning that the Melbourne announcement was welcome, however sub-branches are still uncertain on how their local events will be treated.
Mr Bull added that their advocacy had to be sensitive:
"We're trying to do this in a respectful way while trying to get the answers that our sub-branches and veterans need - and their families and those that want to pay their respects, to let them observe what is for them the most important day of the calendar year."
Veterans Affairs Minister Shaun Leane caused an uproar in parliament recently, accusing Coalition MPs of wanting to 'get a selfie' at commemoration events, and 'pushing widows and veterans aside'.
A day after easing many COVID-19 restrictions, the Victorian Government confirmed on Wednesday that Melbourne's Anzac Day march will go ahead.
The dawn service and commemorative services at the Shrine of Remembrance will also take place on April 25 with smaller numbers.
People will have to register for the dawn service and march.
Only 1400 people will be allowed at the dawn service and the march will feature 5000 veterans, plus 500 support staff.
The government wants Victorians to stay local when possible on Anzac Day, saying hundreds of RSL and local services will also take place.
Shrine of Remembrance events such as the dawn service will be live streamed.
The announcement follows weeks of speculation about whether veterans would be able to march on Anzac Day.
There was no march last year because of Victoria's first coronavirus lockdown.
The full interview with Tim Bull is available on the FlowNews24 podcast player below:
-- with AAP