All Melbourne public transport will be suspended for six hours on Saturday to stop a planned COVID-19 lockdown protest.
Trains, trams and buses heading into the CBD will be suspended from 8am to 2pm to prevent people from reaching the planned protest. In addition, 2,000 police officers will be in attendance in the CBD, erecting bollards to prevent people from reaching the city centre.
The momentous action is being taken by Victoria Police, which recently flagged that they would go to immense lengths to prevent the planned protest going ahead. Only essential workers with valid permits will be allowed in the CBD between those hours.
Protestors who do attend will face $5,500 fines for protesting, and a further $1,800 if they’re outside of their five-kilometre radius.
What you need to know
- Trains, trams and buses heading to Melbourne’s CBD will be suspended
- The suspension will only last from 8am to 2pm on Saturday September 18
- Victoria Police have taken the action to prevent a planned COVID-19 lockdown protest
Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.
“We have no problem with facilitating protest when there’s a place in time for that to occur. This weekend is not the place and time for that to occur,” Victoria police commissioner, Shane Patton said.
“It’s really interesting that this whole cohort of people who are about freedom don’t seem to respect the freedoms of others and anyone coming in here places those freedoms at risk.
“I just want people to think that through. Do you really want to place your family at risk in case a small group of people come in, and if they’re intent on violence like they were last time?”
Police also noted that they will be monitoring social media and tracking down people that post photos of themselves attending the protest.
Victoria recorded 423 local COVID cases today, as Ballarat was plunged back into a seven-day lockdown after a recent outbreak.
For more information on exact routes that will be affected, keep track of PTV’s website.