Explainer: Exactly what happened in Melbourne yesterday, and why.

On Wednesday morning, Victoria’s Police Minister Lisa Neville warned that police were ready to respond should protestors take to the locked-down city’s streets yet again.

© Getty Images Explainer: Exactly what happened in Melbourne yesterday, and why.

“If you’re thinking about coming into the city today to cause violence and harm, just know that Victoria Police will deploy whatever tactics they need to in order to ensure that you are held accountable,” she said.

Minister Neville’s warning came after an estimated 2,000 people descended on Melbourne’s CBD on Tuesday, in a chaotic and violent demonstration against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and restrictions for the construction industry.

Anti-lockdown, anti-vaxx construction worker protesters have completely halted Melbourne’s busiest freeway. Cars block traffic who are trapped by thousands of people, and who are letting off fireworks and settling in @theage pic.twitter.com/7s4mGWPfD4

— David Estcourt (@davidestcourt) September 21, 2021

The unrest shut down parts of the city as well as the West Gate Bridge, as protestors hurled projectiles, let off flares attacked police cars and targeted media.

Footage captures Channel 7 news reporter Paul Dowsley being grabbed around the neck by a man in high-vis clothing and doused with a liquid believed to be urine. He later had a can of drink thrown at the back of his head, leaving him with a small laceration.

The moment @paul_dowsley is hit (again) this time with a can of drink. pic.twitter.com/jywumGU81O

— Blake Johnson (@BlakeJohnson) September 21, 2021

Three police officers were also injured.

Some 63 people were arrested, the majority for non-compliance with a public health order.

What sparked the protest?

Tuesday’s chaos was an escalation of peaceful protest activity launched by construction industry workers last week.

On Thursday, Victorian health officials announced a raft of restrictions for construction employees in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 at worksites. Among them was the closure of tearooms, which were deemed to be a “significant risk” for transmission.

In response, dozens of construction workers took their lunch and smoke breaks to the streets, moving tables and chairs onto CBD roads on Friday morning.

Victorian Secretary of Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), John Setka, described the rule as “appalling” and said the workers had little choice but to spill out onto the streets: “It’s not really a protest. They’ve got nowhere else to have their smoko,” he told radio 3AW.

Tradies across Melbourne protesting against not being able to use tea rooms by having smoko on the street. They’ve stopped traffic on Collins street in the CBd, in Richmond and in Parkville @abcmelbourne #springst pic.twitter.com/JsLwuwsAvU

— Bridget Rollason (@bridgerollo) September 16, 2021

But come Monday, Setka and the CFMEU found themselves to be the target.

Several hundred people rallied outside the union’s headquarters after Setka gave a radio interview in which he described mandatory vaccines for construction workers as an “unfortunate” reality of tackling a pandemic: “Extreme circumstances sometimes call for extreme measures,” he told radio 3AW host Tom Elliott. “It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.”

Setka was responding to the recent Victorian Government announcement that by Thursday, September 23 all construction workers must provide their employer one of the following:

  • evidence they have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine;
  • proof of vaccine appointment to receive a first dose by October 2;
  • a medical exemption from an authorised medical practitioner.

The CFMEU, while being pro-vaccine, has previously expressed opposition to mandatory vaccination, and some anti-vaccination activists accused Setka of being a “sell-out” by not standing up to the government over the ruling.

Warning: the below footage contains explicit language.

This is absolutely EPIC.. construction workers are furious their union boss John Setka sold them out.. they face termination if they aren’t vaccinated by Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/k1VmlNDwuD

— Pelham (@Resist_05) September 20, 2021

The situation then escalated further on Tuesday following a Government declaration late on Monday night that the construction industry would be shut down for two weeks in metropolitan Melbourne, City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire.

It’s understood many of those who participated in Tuesday’s unrest were not members of the construction industry but anti-lockdown activists, some of whom had dressed in high-visibility clothing.

Setka condemned the violence shown at the protests and blamed extremists for hijacking the event.

“There is a minority group there that are our members, a lot of the other people that are there are not our members. I don’t know who they are,” he told Channel 7’s Sunrise on Wednesday morning.

The union boss has blamed the protestors for triggering the shutdown: “Because of their actions on Monday, they’ve led to 300,000 people sitting at home so I hope they’re really proud of themselves.”

Those drunken fascist un-Australian morons are the reason construction workers will be sitting at home and not getting paid for the next 2 weeks

— John Setka (@CFMEUJohnSetka) September 20, 2021

Wait, was the industry shutdown a reaction to the protests?

Not according to the Victorian Government.

Announcing the move at 10pm on Monday, it cited outbreaks linked to the industry’s workforce and compliance issues on multiple worksites as the reasons for the move.

Health Minister Martin Foley said there are 337 cases directly linked to 154 construction sites, and that the Government had for weeks warned the sector could be closed.

“The public health team was left with no choice but to hit the pause button and continue working with the sector over these next two weeks to improve compliance,” he told reporters.

Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas added that inspectors visited thousands of worksites during the past week and about half were failing to comply with health directions.

“Broad-scale non-compliance across the industry was constituting a threat to public health in the most dramatic of terms,” he said.

— With AAP.

Feature image: Getty.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Tiger Woods' niece Cheyenne engaged to Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks

Luckily, Tiger Woods is a Yankees fan. The golf star’s niece, Cheyenne Woods, is engaged to Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks. Cheyenne, who’s also a pro golfer, announced the news ... Read more »

Sainsbury's says some items will be in low supply this Christmas in letter to shoppers

The boss of Sainsbury’s has hinted that shoppers may have less choice when doing their food shopping this Christmas. The supermarket chief said that there should be plenty of food ... Read more »

Assange extradition appeal: lawyers cite new claims of CIA plot to harm him

Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images Lawyers for Julian Assange have cited new allegations that the CIA plotted to kidnap or kill him as “grounds for fearing what will be done to ... Read more »

Airlines cast doubt on flying unvaccinated passengers to Australia

Photograph: David Gray/AFP/Getty Images Most international airlines who fly into Australia are likely to accept only vaccinated passengers, with larger carriers now considering whether it is logistically and commercially viable ... Read more »

Senior high school students invited to Education USA's application drive

Filipino senior high school students interested in studying in the United States are invited to attend the annual EducationUSA and US Embassy in the Philippines’ application drive on Friday, October ... Read more »

TikTok star allegedly bugs daughter's iPad to catch wife with other man, kills them both

A TikTok star with nearly 1 million followers has been accused of killing his wife and another man after hearing them together through his daughter's iPad. Ali Abulaban, known by ... Read more »

Lawyers use Voller defamation case to demand Facebook group admins remove posts

Photograph: Dado Ruvić/Reuters A Perth law firm has cited the Australian high court decision in the Voller case in a letter calling on an administrator of a Facebook community group ... Read more »

Carol Vorderman slips on skintight catsuit as she shows off her curves in selfies in hotel room

CAROL Vorderman slipped on a skintight catsuit as she showed off her curves in selfies in a hotel room. The 60-year-old ex-Countdown star revealed her age-defying beauty in her ultra tight ... Read more »

Topless Extinction Rebellion protester goes totally NUDE in Downing Street protest

A TOPLESS eco-warrior has taken her campaign one step further and completely bared all at Downing Street as she demands the “naked truth”.  Laura Amherst, 31, stripped down to just ... Read more »

Jammu & Kashmir Govt Cracks Whip on Corrupt Officers, 8 'Tainted' Employees Sacked

© Provided by News18 Jammu & Kashmir Govt Cracks Whip on Corrupt Officers, 8 ‘Tainted’ Employees Sacked Eight ‘tainted’ employees of the J&K government have been sacked on Thursday, which ... Read more »

Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on Portsmouth, transfer preparations and Pompey similarities

Bolton Wanderers are on the road this weekend with a trip down to Fratton Park to take on Portsmouth. Wanderers head to the South Coast this Saturday for a 3pm ... Read more »

I'm an Irish traveller and determined to stop hate against us – we're called ‘thieving, lying scumbags', it's so wrong

AN Irish traveller has told how she is campaigning against hate in her community – using her huge TikTok page as a platform.  Bridgey Wall, 26, whose family hail from ... Read more »

Biden hails domestic policy victory before heading abroad

© Provided by Al Jazeera President Biden met Democrats before announcing support for his social services framework [File: Jose Luis Magana/The Associated Press] United States President Joe Biden presented a ... Read more »

Russia ‘weaponising' gas supply in Moldova dispute, EU says

© Provided by Al Jazeera Moldova’s contract with Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom expired at the end of September [File: Aurel Obreja/AP Photo] The European Union’s top diplomat has accused ... Read more »

Leon Bailey's influence laid bare as Aston Villa man eyes first start vs West Ham

Aston Villa summer signing Leon Bailey could be in line for his first start of the season against West Ham on Sunday. The winger returned from injury last week, coming ... Read more »

Vicarious Visions to lose its name after Blizzard merge, according to report

It appears that developer Vicarious Visions is set to lose its name as part of its merger with Blizzard Entertainment. The studio’s move from a subsidiary of Activision to a ... Read more »

BTS, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo among 2021 AMAs Artist of the Year nominees

BTS, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo among nominees for Artist of the Year at 2021 AMAs AMAs Twitter screen grab The nominees for 2021 American Music Awards (AMAs) have ... Read more »

Biden stings the rich in $2 trillion tax raid

Joe Biden is preparing to launch an unprecedented tax raid on US millionaires as he scrambles to raise $2 trillion to fund a flagship spending package. © Provided by The ... Read more »

Tamil Nadu to open Mullaperiyar Dam on Friday; Kerala says preparations made

Tamil Nadu informed Kerala that the Mullaperiyar Dam would be opened on Friday at 7 am. Kerala Irrigation Minister Roshi Augustine said on Thursday that preparations were complete and the ... Read more »

Justice Department reaches $88 million settlement with families of the victims and survivors of 2015 Charleston church shooting

© Provided by INSIDER People gather in front of the Emanuel AME Church to pay respect to the nine shooting victims on June 20, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina. Cem ... Read more »

UP: With ear to ground, Amit Shah comes calling to assess, tweak & rollout poll blueprint

© Provided by The Times of India LUCKNOW: With BJP’s overwhelming electoral success in Uttar Pradesh during 2014, 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 2017 assembly polls under his belt, Union ... Read more »

Mandaviya Chairs Meeting With State Health Ministers, Creates 'Whatsapp Group' To Enhance Communication

© Provided by News18 Mandaviya Chairs Meeting With State Health Ministers, Creates ‘Whatsapp Group’ To Enhance Communication One positive outcome of the meeting between Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and ... Read more »

BJP curtailing freedom of press by barring journalists from recording MCD sessions: AAP

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday (October 28) accused the BJP of stonewalling journalists from recording MCD sessions to keep the public ... Read more »

US returns antiquities to India in stolen art scheme probe

1 / 5Indian Antiquities ReturnedSome of the stolen objects being returned to India, including this bronze Shiva Nataraja valued at $4 million, are displayed during a ceremony at the Indian ... Read more »

Cheap antidepressant may reduce Covid-19 hospitalisations by a third

© REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva Of those who received fluvoxamine, 79 spent were admitted to hospital, compared to 119 in the control group – reducing the chance of severe illness by a ... Read more »

Aftershock PC Gets Supercharged With New 12th Gen Intel PCs, Available For Pre-Order Now

© Provided by Geek Culture It’s always a race when it comes to adopting the newest tech trends, and Aftershock PC is certainly not keen on missing out. Following the ... Read more »

‘Rust' AD Admits He Didn't Check Rounds Before Handing Gun to Alec Baldwin

The first assistant director on “Rust,” David Halls, acknowledged to investigators that he should have checked a weapon for live rounds before giving it to Alec Baldwin, according to a ... Read more »

China submits new climate plan with no fresh targets

China has submitted a new national plan for climate action to the UN ahead of key Cop26 talks which does not increase its existing targets. Countries have been under pressure ... Read more »

Flood warnings tracker LIVE – Met Office ‘danger to life' alert as power cuts & travel chaos likely as UK hit by storms

AN amber Met Office warning for rain is in force for much of Cumbria today. The amber warning indicates potential risk to life and property, travel disruption and power cuts. ... Read more »

Opening arguments kick off in civil trial over deadly 'Unite the Right' rally

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Four years after a group of neo-Nazis and white supremacists converged on this sleepy college town with deadly results, opening arguments got underway Thursday in a civil ... Read more »

US imposes sanctions on 2 Lebanese contractors, politician

BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions Thursday on two Lebanon businessmen and a politician, saying they have profited from corruption while the country struggles through its worst ... Read more »

Bulgarian restaurant workers protest new COVID-19 pass rule

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of restaurant owners, chefs, waiters and bartenders took to the streets Thursday in cities across Bulgaria to protest the government’s decision to impose a mandatory ... Read more »

How bad was the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol? A trial could be the reminder we need

America’s collective memory is short. Jan. 6, 2021 and the madness of the day, despite the efforts of the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol, is ... Read more »

Hasbro Needs 7,000 Orders For US$399 Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler's Proton Pack

© Provided by Geek Culture Ahead of the much-delayed Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie’s release on 18 November 2021, Hasbro has just unveiled their next HasLab crowdfunded project, and a first for ... Read more »

Paolo Ballesteros Transformed His House Into A Giant Gift Box And We Are Feeling The Christmas Spirit

© Provided by Cosmopolitan Philippines You may not realize it, but Christmas is just 57 days away.  Paolo Ballesteros just transformed his house into a *giant* gift box. The host and ... Read more »

Umno kerjasama dengan PAS hadapi PRN Melaka, kata Ahmad Maslan

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Ahmad Maslan berkata, asas persefahaman Umno dengan PAS berpandukan prinsip parti Islam itu menggunakan lambangnya sendiri, sejajar semangat dan ketetapan Jawatankuasa Induk Muafakat Nasional. ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic