Anti-vax protesters ambush cops, smash police cars and take over bridge in violent Melbourne protest


Violent anti-vax protesters ambushed riot cops and smashing up police squad cars as construction worker demonstrations on the streets of Melbourne descended into chaos for the second day running. 

Footage showed tradesmen in hi-vis clothing kicking police cars and attempting to tear off their side mirrors in the Australian city’s central business district as thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the state Parliament House on Tuesday.

Riot police were then seen advancing in formation on the rioters before firing tear gas.

Earlier, a Channel 7 TV reporter was assaulted by a protester and had bags filled with urine thrown at him. The demonstrators then blocked the West Gate Bridge – a major freeway into the city – bringing traffic to a standstill at peak hour.

Building industry workers and anti-vaxxers were out protesting for a second consecutive day – many of them distraught after a tradesman took his own life at a construction site on Tuesday morning.

The man’s body was found at a building site in West Melbourne hours after Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews announced his decision to shut the construction industry down for two weeks amid rising coronavirus case numbers and poor adherence to pandemic health measures.

The worker, who is believed to be from Croatia, is yet to be publicly named. 

Demonstrators sung the Australian national anthem and chanted ‘f*** the jab’ in protest against mandatory vaccination orders and the industry shutdown.

The protest began outside the boarded up head office of the construction union, the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), which had been badly damaged by violent demonstrations just 24 hours earlier.   

More than 100 police officers walked up a major central thoroughfare in pursuit of the crowd, with officers warning demonstrators over loudspeaker to turn back.

‘Attention, this is a police public order warning. You have previously been directed to leave,’ an officer inside a line of riot police and officers on horseback told the crowd.

‘Leave now or force may be used. No further warnings will be given.’

By 2.30pm, the protest had reached the city’s West Gate Bridge, with demonstrators bringing traffic to a standstill before breaking out into a rendition of 90s hit The Horses by Daryl Braithwaite as they marched across the bridge.

One vocal protester was heard shouting ‘this is our bridge’ as demonstrators threw a ladder across the road to block traffic. 

Traffic heading inbound towards Melbourne was backed up for almost four miles as hundreds of cars and trucks tried to leave the freeway at Williamstown Road where police had formed a blockade. 

Thousands of construction workers are pictured protesting on the West Gate Bridge on Tuesday afternoon as the demonstration moved out of Melbourne's central business district

Thousands of construction workers are pictured protesting on the West Gate Bridge on Tuesday afternoon as the demonstration moved out of Melbourne’s central business district

Construction workers and far-right activists are pictured as they moved the protest onto the West Gate Freeway in Melbourne

Construction workers and far-right activists are pictured as they moved the protest onto the West Gate Freeway in Melbourne

Construction workers and far-right activists are pictured as they moved the protest onto the West Gate Freeway in Melbourne

Police with riot shields monitored Tuesday's rally, where demonstrators were told over loudspeaker 'leave now or more force may be used'

Police with riot shields monitored Tuesday's rally, where demonstrators were told over loudspeaker 'leave now or more force may be used'

Police with riot shields monitored Tuesday’s rally, where demonstrators were told over loudspeaker ‘leave now or more force may be used’

Riot police officers form a wall as they wait for protesting construction workers on the West Gate Bridge on Tuesday afternoon

Riot police officers form a wall as they wait for protesting construction workers on the West Gate Bridge on Tuesday afternoon

Riot police officers form a wall as they wait for protesting construction workers on the West Gate Bridge on Tuesday afternoon

A protester lets off a flare as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Melbourne's central business district on Tuesday

A protester lets off a flare as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Melbourne's central business district on Tuesday

A protester lets off a flare as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Melbourne’s central business district on Tuesday

Riot police are seen outside the Victoria's Parliament House during Tuesday's protest, which came a day after violent demonstrators damaged the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) head office in Melbourne's central business district

Riot police are seen outside the Victoria's Parliament House during Tuesday's protest, which came a day after violent demonstrators damaged the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) head office in Melbourne's central business district

Riot police are seen outside the Victoria’s Parliament House during Tuesday’s protest, which came a day after violent demonstrators damaged the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) head office in Melbourne’s central business district

Thousands of protesters have started to gather outside the CFMEU's head office on Tuesday

Thousands of protesters have started to gather outside the CFMEU's head office on Tuesday

Thousands of protesters have started to gather outside the CFMEU’s head office on Tuesday

Protesters lit flares as they converged on the streets of Melbourne's central business district for the second 'freedom' rally in as many days

Protesters lit flares as they converged on the streets of Melbourne's central business district for the second 'freedom' rally in as many days

Protesters lit flares as they converged on the streets of Melbourne’s central business district for the second ‘freedom’ rally in as many days

A protesters  holds a sign on the West Gate Bridge that reads 'tradies have spoken - we built this city - we will fight for Australia'

A protesters  holds a sign on the West Gate Bridge that reads 'tradies have spoken - we built this city - we will fight for Australia'

A protesters  holds a sign on the West Gate Bridge that reads ‘tradies have spoken – we built this city – we will fight for Australia’

In chaotic scenes, a person riding a motorcycle was seen tearing up and down the highway on the wrong side of the road on one wheel before making an exit down a ramp.

The mood in the crowd was dark following news of the construction worker’s death at the Crema Construction site that morning.

Crema Constructions declined to comment about the man’s death.

Worksafe is investigating the death while police will prepare a report for the Coroner.

Tensions boiled over about 11am with protesters lighting flares and a bottle being tossed towards police.  

The angry crowd also turned their attention to television reporters, with a group of protesters physically attacking veteran journalist Paul Dowsley.

The Seven News reporter, who was also doused with urine during the chaos, was broadcasting from the scene when he was attacked by one demonstrator who grabbed him around the throat. 

Dowsley continued to report as protesters threatened him, saying: ‘There are people with a real message about the vaccine and their health concerns and there are some that seem hellbent on causing trouble.’

‘I’m not a fighter, I’ve never thrown a punch in my life.. [a protester] singled me out without knowing anything about me.  

‘My colleague and I are now covered in what I understand to be urine.’

Pictured are protesters along the West Gate Freeway on Tuesday. The demonstration started outside the headquarters of the CFMEU in Melbourne on Monday over the introduction of mandatory vaccinations for construction workers

Pictured are protesters along the West Gate Freeway on Tuesday. The demonstration started outside the headquarters of the CFMEU in Melbourne on Monday over the introduction of mandatory vaccinations for construction workers

Pictured are protesters along the West Gate Freeway on Tuesday. The demonstration started outside the headquarters of the CFMEU in Melbourne on Monday over the introduction of mandatory vaccinations for construction workers

Footage showed tradesmen in hi-vis clothing kicking police cars in Melbourne's central business district and pelting them with cans

Footage showed tradesmen in hi-vis clothing kicking police cars in Melbourne's central business district and pelting them with cans

Footage showed tradesmen in hi-vis clothing kicking police cars in Melbourne’s central business district and pelting them with cans

A heavy police presence is pictured at Victoria's Parliament House during the protest on Tuesday

A heavy police presence is pictured at Victoria's Parliament House during the protest on Tuesday

A heavy police presence is pictured at Victoria’s Parliament House during the protest on Tuesday

Workers are pictured rallying in Melbourne outside CFMEU headquarters on Tuesday; one held a sign that read 'all work is essential'

Workers are pictured rallying in Melbourne outside CFMEU headquarters on Tuesday; one held a sign that read 'all work is essential'

Workers are pictured rallying in Melbourne outside CFMEU headquarters on Tuesday; one held a sign that read ‘all work is essential’

A line of police officers in masks are pictured protecting the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne's central business district on Tuesday

A line of police officers in masks are pictured protecting the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne's central business district on Tuesday

A line of police officers in masks are pictured protecting the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne’s central business district on Tuesday

Police are pictured gathered in a line at the protest at CFMEU  headquarters in Melbourne on Tuesday

Police are pictured gathered in a line at the protest at CFMEU  headquarters in Melbourne on Tuesday

Police are pictured gathered in a line at the protest at CFMEU  headquarters in Melbourne on Tuesday

A protestor wearing a metal hat and a skeleton-style face mask is pictured at Tuesday's demonstration

A protestor wearing a metal hat and a skeleton-style face mask is pictured at Tuesday's demonstration

A protestor wearing a metal hat and a skeleton-style face mask is pictured at Tuesday’s demonstration

Thousands of protestors - many wearing hi-vis - marched towards state parliament to rally against mandatory vaccine orders

Thousands of protestors - many wearing hi-vis - marched towards state parliament to rally against mandatory vaccine orders

Thousands of protestors – many wearing hi-vis – marched towards state parliament to rally against mandatory vaccine orders

A protester holds a sign that reads 'you cannot comply your way out of tyranny' at Tuesday's protests in Melbourne's central business district

A protester holds a sign that reads 'you cannot comply your way out of tyranny' at Tuesday's protests in Melbourne's central business district

A protester holds a sign that reads ‘you cannot comply your way out of tyranny’ at Tuesday’s protests in Melbourne’s central business district

Workers are pictured protesting with a flag reading 'freedom' near the CFMEU headquarters on Tuesday

Workers are pictured protesting with a flag reading 'freedom' near the CFMEU headquarters on Tuesday

Workers are pictured protesting with a flag reading ‘freedom’ near the CFMEU headquarters on Tuesday 

A protester stands by a flare at Tuesday's protest as thousands of tradesmen wearing hi-vis rallied against lockdown measures and their right to refuse a Covid-19 vaccine

A protester stands by a flare at Tuesday's protest as thousands of tradesmen wearing hi-vis rallied against lockdown measures and their right to refuse a Covid-19 vaccine

A protester stands by a flare at Tuesday’s protest as thousands of tradesmen wearing hi-vis rallied against lockdown measures and their right to refuse a Covid-19 vaccine

Protesters march in the streets of Melbourne against the requirement of mandatory Covid-19 vaccination for construction workers

Protesters march in the streets of Melbourne against the requirement of mandatory Covid-19 vaccination for construction workers

Protesters march in the streets of Melbourne against the requirement of mandatory Covid-19 vaccination for construction workers

Daily Mail Australia also saw a large crowd of tradesmen from the protest buying bags of alcohol at a nearby Woolworths.

The huge demo comes as Victoria recorded 603 new cases on Tuesday, the highest daily tally in the current outbreak and since August 2020, bringing the number of active cases to 6,000. 

At about 1pm, the protesters started moving back towards the CFMEU headquarters, where demonstrators were seen throwing glass bottles and flares at police officers. 

The Melbourne protesters are using the encrypted platform Telegram to communicate, calling for an end to lockdowns, mandatory mask orders and the immediate reopening of the construction industry.

Thousands of protesters marched to Parliament House in protest against Melbourne's lockdown and vaccine mandates for construction workers

Thousands of protesters marched to Parliament House in protest against Melbourne's lockdown and vaccine mandates for construction workers

Thousands of protesters marched to Parliament House in protest against Melbourne’s lockdown and vaccine mandates for construction workers

The protest comes after the state government announced that all construction workers would need to receive at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by September 23 to continue working

The protest comes after the state government announced that all construction workers would need to receive at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by September 23 to continue working

The protest comes after the state government announced that all construction workers would need to receive at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by September 23 to continue working

Three of the demands called for Victoria’s leading figureheads in its pandemic response to stand down – Andrews, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton. 

Protesters also called for a royal commission into the government’s response to the pandemic and for officers they claim ‘assaulted peaceful protesters’ to be charged. 

Their final demand was for the ‘mass distribution of invermectin, Vitamins C, D and Zinc’ as alternative treatments for Covid-19.

Invermectin, a horse tranquiliser used to treat parasitic infections, has not been proven to be effective in treating the virus. 

CFMEU boss John Setka earlier blasted ‘fake tradies’ and ‘man-baby Nazis’ who sparked Monday’s violent scenes outside union headquarters – prompting Andrews to shut down the entire industry for two weeks. 

The state’s health minister Martin Foley said hundreds of cases have been recorded across 186 construction sites. 

A protester holds a sign during the mass demonstration which reads 'earning a living is essential - not criminal'

A protester holds a sign during the mass demonstration which reads 'earning a living is essential - not criminal'

A protester holds a sign during the mass demonstration which reads ‘earning a living is essential – not criminal’

Construction workers march towards state parliament on Tuesday. Protesters have called for a royal commission into the government’s response to the pandemic

A 7News reporter was reporting from the scene of the protest when he came under fire from some of the demonstrators, (pictured here)

A 7News reporter was reporting from the scene of the protest when he came under fire from some of the demonstrators, (pictured here)

A 7News reporter was reporting from the scene of the protest when he came under fire from some of the demonstrators, (pictured here)

Thousands of construction workers took to the streets of Melbourne on Tuesday morning for the protest

Thousands of construction workers took to the streets of Melbourne on Tuesday morning for the protest

Thousands of construction workers took to the streets of Melbourne on Tuesday morning for the protest

MELBOURNE ANTI-VAXXER PROTESTERS’ LIST OF DEMANDS

1. Emergency state powers to be removed immediately

2. Lockdowns to end immediately

3. Mask mandate to end immediately

4. Vaccine mandates to end immediately 

5. Vaccine passport to be removed 

6. Immediate resignation of Premier Daniel Andrews

7. Immediate resignation of Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton

8.  Immediate resignation of Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton

9. Royal commission into government’s response to pandemic

10. Charges laid against officers for ‘assaulting peaceful protesters’ 

11. All construction sites to resume immediately.

12. Mass distribution of invermectin, vitamins C, D, and zinc 

Angry protesters rally against mandatory vaccine orders for the construction industry on Tuesday

Angry protesters rally against mandatory vaccine orders for the construction industry on Tuesday

Angry protesters rally against mandatory vaccine orders for the construction industry on Tuesday

A protester gestures as he stands next to a banner that reads 'freedom' outside Victoria's Parliament House

A protester gestures as he stands next to a banner that reads 'freedom' outside Victoria's Parliament House

A protester gestures as he stands next to a banner that reads ‘freedom’ outside Victoria’s Parliament House

Shaken TV news reporter tells how he was brutally attacked and doused with URINE by anti-vaxxer protesters in vile scenes on the streets of Melbourne – before he is attacked AGAIN with a can of drink! 

Veteran TV newsman Paul Dowsley said he had been spat on, attacked and sprayed with urine in ugly scenes at the construction workers’ protest rally in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The Seven News reporter was broadcasting from the scene of the protest when he was jumped by one demonstrator who grabbed him around the neck. 

He was also said to have been doused in urine, including in his mouth, when open bottles were thrown at him in another separate disgusting attack. 

‘My colleague myself and I are covered in what I understand to be urine,’ he revealed live on air as he described how he had been attacked while covering the protest.

‘To put it lightly, I’m not a fighter, I’ve never thrown a punch in my life, so in those situations I thought I’d be quick to make a move.

‘But that guy came in to my side very quickly – I did my best to get out of what felt like a headlock.

‘My [cameraman] colleague Rick who was standing on a seat trying to get an elevated shot, jumped down with his camera and came to my assistance.

‘Some other people came in and tried break it up – they did try to defuse it.

Veteran TV newsman Paul Dowsley (pictured) says he has been spat on, attacked and sprayed with urine in ugly scenes at the construction workers' protest rally in Melbourne on Tuesday

Veteran TV newsman Paul Dowsley (pictured) says he has been spat on, attacked and sprayed with urine in ugly scenes at the construction workers' protest rally in Melbourne on Tuesday

Veteran TV newsman Paul Dowsley (pictured) says he has been spat on, attacked and sprayed with urine in ugly scenes at the construction workers’ protest rally in Melbourne on Tuesday

‘I will give credit to some protesters who stopped in the minutes after to check I was OK and one made a point of telling me that’s not what they were about.

‘He was disgusted by any attack like that on media.’ 

Daily Mail Australia reporter Wayne Flower came to Mr Dowsley’s rescue, fearing the journalist would be stomped on by the mob of fluoro-clad thugs.

Moments later though, Mr Dowsley was viciously attacked a second time with a can of soft drink thrown at his head while he did a live update .

The newsman was talking about the passion of the protesters he was struck by the apparently near full can of energy drink.

‘I’ve just been struck in the back of a back of the head by a can,’ he said live on air. ‘I’m not sure whether you saw that.’

The majority of Australia’s coronavirus cases have been linked to metropolitan Melbourne, while 49 infections are from those living in regional Victoria. 

Hundreds of workers in hi-vis vests gathered outside the union’s head office in Melbourne on Monday to protest against mandatory Covid-19 vaccine requirements, which come into effect for the construction industry later this week. 

The protest turned violent as demonstrators clashed with Mr Setka and other union officials, hurling abuse and projectiles and smashing glass windows. 

Mr Setka is furious 300,000 construction staff state-wide have lost work because of the actions of ‘fake tradies’ at the protest, describing them as ‘scum of the earth, drunken and un-Australian morons’.  

A man in hi-vis is pictured holding a sign that reads 'let us live our life - no vaccine mandate'

A man in hi-vis is pictured holding a sign that reads 'let us live our life - no vaccine mandate'

A man in hi-vis is pictured holding a sign that reads ‘let us live our life – no vaccine mandate’

Protesters are using encrypted platform Telegram to call for an end to lockdowns, mandatory mask orders and the immediate reopening of the construction industry

Protesters are using encrypted platform Telegram to call for an end to lockdowns, mandatory mask orders and the immediate reopening of the construction industry

Protesters are using encrypted platform Telegram to call for an end to lockdowns, mandatory mask orders and the immediate reopening of the construction industry

Protesters marched to state parliament on Tuesday, where they were met with a wall of police officers with riot shields

Protesters marched to state parliament on Tuesday, where they were met with a wall of police officers with riot shields

Protesters marched to state parliament on Tuesday, where they were met with a wall of police officers with riot shields

Construction workers took to the streets of Melbourne again on Tuesday to rally against vaccine orders and the city's ongoing lockdown

Construction workers took to the streets of Melbourne again on Tuesday to rally against vaccine orders and the city's ongoing lockdown

Construction workers took to the streets of Melbourne again on Tuesday to rally against vaccine orders and the city’s ongoing lockdown

Police are pictured heading towards the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne on Tuesday to monitor the anti-vaxxer protesters

Police are pictured heading towards the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne on Tuesday to monitor the anti-vaxxer protesters

Police are pictured heading towards the CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne on Tuesday to monitor the anti-vaxxer protesters

‘There were a few of anti-vaxxer activists there who are not union members or are from our industry, they’re the ones you see at all the protests,’ Mr Setka told the Today show on Tuesday.

‘It just got out of control. Then they were consuming a whole heap of alcohol. Thanks to these morons, 300,000 Victorians are sitting at home for at least the next couple of weeks, could drag out even longer.’

Mr Setka described how he went out to address the hostile crowd but was eventually forced to retreat back inside as protestors turned on him.

‘We went out there to  see what it was all about,’ he said.

A protest turned violent outside CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne, prompting the state government to shut down the entire  industry

A protest turned violent outside CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne, prompting the state government to shut down the entire  industry

A protest turned violent outside CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne, prompting the state government to shut down the entire  industry

‘There was a sprinkling of construction workers there of our members and the rest were just people, I wouldn’t even know who they are. 

‘You couldn’t even talk. We tried to keep it all calm, and it just got out of chrome. People started throwing bottles. Some of them were fighting amongst themselves. 

‘You know, once they started throwing the bottles, that was it we just said this is too dangerous, let’s move back in. It just got out of control from there.’

CFMEU boss John Setka (pictured) slammed the actions of fake tradies and neo Nazis

CFMEU boss John Setka (pictured) slammed the actions of fake tradies and neo Nazis

CFMEU boss John Setka (pictured) slammed the actions of fake tradies and neo Nazis

Mr Setka said he was blindsided by the state government’s snap decision to shut down the construction industry statewide. 

‘It wasn’t like there was full-on consultation us with,’ he said.

‘I have never spoken to Daniel Andrews to be honest. I have never met him and never spoken to him. I’ve had no discussions with Daniel Andrews ever.’

He doesn’t believe the shutdown was payback for recent criticism of the state government’s public health orders and agreed it had no other choice but to shut down the industry. 

‘I don’t think they had much of an alternative but to do what they’ve done,’ Mr Setka said.

‘It’s unfortunate, because families rely on a pay packet every week, and the problem with it is, I think it’s going to go longer than two weeks.

‘They can thank all the drunk morons yesterday. This lays squarely on their shoulders.’

Mr Setka fears the construction industry will be shut down for longer than two weeks as a result of Monday's ugly scenes outside CFMEU headquarters

Mr Setka fears the construction industry will be shut down for longer than two weeks as a result of Monday's ugly scenes outside CFMEU headquarters

Mr Setka fears the construction industry will be shut down for longer than two weeks as a result of Monday’s ugly scenes outside CFMEU headquarters

Ex-unionist and federal MP Bill Shorten also slammed the ‘fake tradies’ and ‘man-baby Nazis’ earlier in the program.

‘Some of those people in the crowd were construction workers, but others, I’m reliably informed, were fake tradies,’ he said.

‘They’d been down to the Reject Shop and got themselves a $2 hi-viz hoodie so they could pretend they were construction.’   

On Monday night, the state government shut down the industry for two weeks in metropolitan Melbourne, City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire.

All worksites will need to demonstrate compliance with health directions prior to reopening.

This includes a requirement for workers to show evidence of having had at least one dose of a vaccine before they return to work on October 5.

Many of those who attended Monday's protest have been described as 'fake tradies' and 'man-baby Nazis' (protestor pictured)

Many of those who attended Monday's protest have been described as 'fake tradies' and 'man-baby Nazis' (protestor pictured)

Many of those who attended Monday’s protest have been described as ‘fake tradies’ and ‘man-baby Nazis’ (protestor pictured)

Mr Shorten defended the CFMEU saying the construction union was being responsible and encouraging people to get vaccinated.

‘There is a network of hard-right man-baby Nazis, just people who just want to cause trouble – these man-babies, they want to complain about vaccinations,’ he said.

‘They deserve to get the full force of everything that’s coming their way.’ 

The Victorian branch of CFMEU said it had always supported freedom of choice regarding vaccination.

‘We are not going to be intimidated by outside extremists attempting to intimidate the union, by spreading misinformation and lies about the union’s position,’ it said in a statement on Monday.

The Victorian government said the shutdown was required to cut down movement, reduce Covid-19 transmission and give the industry time to adapt to new requirements.

An audit of about 200 construction sites last week found 73 per cent were failing to comply with health directions. 

A protester is pictured screaming in the face of police officers monitoring the rally on Monday (pictured) as the situation became increasingly heated

A protester is pictured screaming in the face of police officers monitoring the rally on Monday (pictured) as the situation became increasingly heated

A protester is pictured screaming in the face of police officers monitoring the rally on Monday (pictured) as the situation became increasingly heated

‘We put the industry on notice just a week ago, we have seen appalling behaviour on-site and on our streets, and now we’re acting decisively and without hesitation,’ Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas said. 

An amnesty will be in place on Tuesday so a limited number of workers can attend construction sites to shut them down safely.

All sites will need to demonstrate compliance with the chief health officer’s directions prior to reopening, including evidence workers have had one dose of a vaccine before they return to work on October 5.

The Property Council of Australia said the shutdown would cost the economy $1.1 billion a week.

‘The majority of construction sites and construction workers are doing everything required of them to meet the highest standards of COVID safety and have done so since the pandemic started,’ executive director Danni Hunter said in a statement.

‘Closing the industry will prevent them going to work and getting paid and it will stall projects causing immensely costly delays, putting projects and Victorian jobs at risk.’

Victoria construction industry shut down 

The shutdown was announced late on Monday following violent protests outside the CFMEU’s head office in Melbourne’s CBD over a vaccine mandate for the industry.

It applies to work sites across Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, Mitchell Shire and the Surf Coast.

Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas said the shutdown was required to cut down movement, reduce COVID-19 transmission and give the industry time to adapt to the new requirements.

‘We put the industry on notice just a week ago, we have seen appalling behaviour on-site and on our streets, and now we’re acting decisively and without hesitation,’ he said in a statement.

An amnesty will be in place on Monday so that a limited number of workers can attend construction sites to shut them down safely.

The government said all sites will need to demonstrate compliance with the chief health officer’s directions prior to reopening, including the requirement for workers to show evidence of having had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before they return to work on October 5.

The Property Council of Australia said the shutdown would cost the economy $1.1 billion a week.

‘The majority of construction sites and construction workers are doing everything required of them to meet the highest standards of COVID safety and have done so since the pandemic started,’ executive director Danni Hunter said in a statement.

‘Closing the industry will prevent them going to work and getting paid and it will stall projects causing immensely costly delays, putting projects and Victorian jobs at risk.’

Opposition industry spokeswoman Bridget Vallence said the Andrews government must immediately reverse its ‘panicked decision’.

‘The Liberal Nationals condemn the violent protests, but the actions of a few should not be used as an excuse to shut down an entire industry, putting tens of thousands of people out of work,’ she said in a statement.

Union officials say Monday’s protesters were not all CFMEU members and blamed ‘neo-Nazi’s and right-wing extremists’ for hijacking the event.

The protest escalated when two union officials, including Victorian construction branch secretary John Sekta, came outside the Elizabeth Street office to speak to protesters just before midday.

Mr Setka was met with boos and insults from the crowd, while some protesters hurled bottles.

‘Please calm down. Can you at least give me the respect to talk? We’re not the enemy, I don’t know what you have heard,’ he told protesters.

‘I have never, ever said I support mandatory vaccination.’

Once Mr Setka went back inside, the protesters smashed a glass door to the building.

Some said they would come to the CFMEU office every day until the union bows to their demands.

Construction sites have been a place of high spread in the latest outbreak, forcing health officials to close tearooms last week.

It comes as Victoria on Monday recorded the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases in the current outbreak, with 567 new locally-acquired cases and one death – a Moreland woman in her 70s.

The state’s roadmap out of lockdown was released on Sunday, detailing small changes to restrictions when 80 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have received a single vaccine dose.

Melbourne’s lockdown will remain in place until 70 per cent of Victorians are double-vaccinated, which is forecast for October 26.

 

Australia: If you or someone you know needs support, contact Lifeline 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.

UK: Help can be found at Samaritans, their helpline is open 24/7 at 116 123, or email [email protected]

USA: Advice and support is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, open 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 



Source link

Spread the love

Leave a Reply