Anzac Day memorial services could still take place in Melbourne, despite a cancellation announcement from RSL Victoria earlier this month.
Veterans Affairs Minister Shaun Leane released a statement on Twitter on Tuesday suggesting events may be reignited.
“I hosted major events and the Department of Health to work with RSL Victoria to help them organize safe COVID events across the state for people to honor veterans on Anzac Day, including a potential walk in Melbourne, ”he wrote.
An earlier decision to cancel events two months in advance was greeted by the public, with some comparisons between major sporting events and the importance of Anzac Day.
Some Twitter users were quick to complain about the contradictions, for example highlighting the state government’s backtracking on the Moomba festival, which is now about to unfold.
State Opposition Leader Michael O’Brian took to Twitter, responding to an article in the Herald Sun.
“If Moomba is back, surely we can honor the sacrifice of our veterans with a COVID-free ANZAC walk?” It’s in 2 months, ”he wrote.
But it was RSL Victoria, not the state government, that made the earlier decision to veto events.
The organization’s president, Robert Webster, said at the time that based on the advice he received, moving forward was too risky due to the vulnerability of many veterans.
RSL Tasmania has also decided to cancel public commemoration events this year, amid concerns for the safety of veterans.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday it was “too early to say” exactly what Anzac Day will look like for the Victorians, but confirmed that the state government will work with the RSL to keep it “so close. as possible from normal ”.
Queensland ‘will prove to be in force’ for Anzacs
Events planned for Anzac Day will be in full swing in Queensland on April 25, Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed.
Ms Palaszczuk said dawn services, marches and public commemorations would be held “as usual”.
“It means a lot to everyone in our state and I think it’s a great sign of respect.
“Let us all go in force to show our gratitude to the men and women who have served our country.”
Last year, public Anzac Day events were canceled statewide due to the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
Instead, thousands of Queenslanders marked the day by standing in their aisles at dawn and other private commemorations.
RSL Queensland President Tony Ferris said it would be heartwarming news for veterans and their families.
“The fact that we can now come back to base with our families and commemorate those who have left before is going to be one of the big things for Queensland,” he said.
RSL Southeast District Chairman Col. Kerry Gallagher (Retired) AM said returning public events was more important to veterans than to the community.
He said it was mentally and emotionally important for their service to be validated and for them to connect with their fellow veterans.
“Meeting comrades is vitally important not only, I guess, from a traditional point of view, but for many of them, who may not travel as well,” Col. Gallagher said.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said Anzac Day could continue as there were no active cases in the Queensland community.
She also said predominantly outdoor events were great for reducing the risk of COVID-19.
Dr Young said even indoor functions can be managed with COVID security plans and contact tracing recording.
“I congratulate RSL, they just did the best job in Australia in terms of running their RSL clubs,” she added.
RSL NSW will also continue its annual Anzac Day Parade on April 25, but the Sydney CBD Walk will be strictly limited to 500 participants.