Authorities installed a perimeter fence around Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance to limit the number of people attending the ANZAC Day dawn service on Sunday.
The event was restricted to just 1,400 attendees, forcing hundreds to watch the service from behind a chained fence.
If this were a pic of illegal immigrants in a detention centre, the Left would be baying for blood.— TheRoadknight (@RoadknightThe) April 25, 2021
But, no. They're people watch the ANZAC service at the Shrine of Remembrance. pic.twitter.com/xXjYcDqtxV
The Victorian government also capped the number of spectators attending the ANZAC Day march to just 8,000 people.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton said he can’t understand why the Victorian government has imposed such tight restrictions on ANZAC Day services while tens of thousands are permitted to attend sporting events.
“It’s a situation I can’t understand,” Mr Dutton told The Today Show. “How can you have 30,000 or 75,000 at a footy game, but the numbers are restricted dramatically for an ANZAC Day ceremony?
On the same day, the city hosted the world’s largest sports crowd since the coronavirus pandemic.
Almost 80,000 people packed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to watch a football game on Sunday after authorities raised the cap on the attendance to 85,000.
A massive 78,113 on hand for a cracking Anzac Day match at the MCG.— bet365 AUS (@bet365_aus) April 25, 2021
You love to see it. pic.twitter.com/KubYVw9eNF
Michael O’Brien, Victoria’s leader of the opposition, said: “Not what they fought for. Not fair to our veterans. Not respectful of ANZAC day. Not bloody good enough.”
Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier called the move an “absolute insult to Veterans.” Many Australians agree.
Nothing says go get rogered to Australia's servicemen and women, to the memory of those no longer with us, like a full MCG and a fenced off Shrine of Remembrance.— GemmaTognini (@GemmaTognini) April 25, 2021
The Victorian government at its worst. #LestWeForget
85 000 packed into MCG today and just a few Kms away only 1400 allowed at the Shrine. Diggers turned away. Politicians going way too far. What an absolute disgrace. 😡😡😡😡— Proud OLD Soldier (@GrumpyOLSoldier) April 25, 2021
Feeling disappointed, even ashamed, by the cages around Melbourne’s Shrine today as 78,000 fans crammed into the MCG for the big footy match. Breathtaking hypocrisy on our most important day, treating those trying to honour our bravest Australians with total disrespect.— Peter Blunden (@PeterBlunden_) April 25, 2021