‘Do what I say, not what I do’: Victorian ministers criticized after being caught breaking their OWN mandatory mask laws during Melbourne’s hated lockdown
- Victorian Labor ministers embarrassingly caught not wearing face masks
- The blunder came the same day the Victorians told the mask rules would remain
- Covid restrictions after a two-week lockdown are usually relaxed at midnight
The same day the Victorian government reversed its decision to relax restrictions on face masks, state ministers were caught breaking their own laws in the parliament building.
Face coverings remain mandatory statewide, both indoors and out – despite some evidence of outdoor Covid transmission during the current outbreak, which has now risen to 78 active cases.
Acting Prime Minister James Merlino was set to scrap the rule with lockdown restrictions set to be rolled back at midnight, but after four mysterious cases were registered in northern Melbourne on Wednesday, he announced that face masks must still be worn at all times.
Just hours later, several Labor Party ministers were found exposed in their parliamentary offices, sparking outrage among the long-suffering Victorians who labeled their leaders a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ government.
Minister for Disability, Aging and Carers Luke Donnellan had to apologize after he was seen on video without a mask chatting with staff in an office.
Minister for the Disabled, Aging and Carers Luke Donnellan (pictured left and right) had to apologize after being seen on video without a mask chatting with staff in an office
Face coverings remain mandatory statewide, both indoors and out
“The rules are there for a reason and I apologize,” he said.
A parliamentary assistant told the Herald Sun they saw Agriculture Secretary Mary-Anne Thomas at the table without a mask, and another high-ranking politician unmasked in a corridor in the parliament building.
Ms. Thomas’s office said she was not wearing a mask because food was being consumed at the time – in accordance with state rules.
“These are the same ministers who tell Melburnians to wear masks inside and out,” the staffer said.
“They are a kind of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ government. It makes my blood boil to think that these same people are the ones who make these rules and have chosen to break them.
“It’s a joke and if Victorians could see how these ministers acted behind closed doors they would be damn furious.”
A parliamentarian said they saw Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas (pictured) at a table without a mask. She said she was eating at the time and therefore didn’t break any rules
Since the Covid pandemic hit Australia’s shores, Victoria has faced some of the world’s toughest restrictions with four Stage Three lockdowns, including the brutal 112-day take-home order last year.
Mr Merlino said during his Covid briefing on the face mask issue today: ‘It’s a bit clunky, but it’s easy to do.’
Liberal Party opposition spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said there is one rule for the government and another for the rest of Victoria.
“The government makes the rules that we all have to live by, and berates us if we don’t,” she said on Twitter.
‘Yet the same decision-makers mock them arrogantly. What hypocrisy.’
But allegations have also been made about ignoring mask restrictions on the other side of the political aisle and with claims that Liberal MP Matthew Guy had also broken the rules.
A spokesman for Mr Guy has dismissed the claims, calling them nonsense.
The four new locally acquired businesses are from the same household and the source of acquisition is being investigated
The health ministry said the cases were from the same household and “investigations into the acquisition source are ongoing”
NEW RULES FOR MELBOURNE AND VICTORIA FROM FRIDAY 00.01
What you can do:
Travel 25 km from your home
Hold an outdoor meeting with up to 10 people
Go to school for face-to-face learning
Attend a funeral with up to 50 people and weddings at 10
Head to restaurants and cafes to reopen, with up to 100 people outside and 50 people inside
Go to stores, with a density limit of one person per four square meters
Get your hair done with a mask on
Working out outside with 50 people
What you can’t do
Throw a party, go to bars, go to a nightclub or concert
Have any guests come to your house
Go to the gym
Travel further than 25 km from your home, unless in exceptional circumstances
Regional Victoria – already subject to the above rules, but with additional easing
Visit another house, with a maximum of two adults per household
Gathering in the pubic area with a maximum of 20 people
Go to a restaurant or cafe with up to 150 people outdoors or 75 indoors
Attend a religious ceremony, with a maximum of 150 people outside or 75 inside
Attend funerals capped at 75 and weddings capped at 20