Victoria records 766 new cases, highest for the year so far

coronavirus,

Victoria has recorded 766 new COVID cases, as Ballarat wakes to eased restrictions. There were also four deaths recorded. The daily morning update no longer includes data on how many cases are classified as mystery cases. There were 62,408 tests processed and 40,957 Victorians received a vaccine dose at state-run hubs. Ballarat’s lockdown was lifted on Wednesday night, removing the five reasons to leave the house – while masks are still required and home visits are still banned, people are able to see up to 10 other people outside, and retail and hospitality can reopen with density quotients. The Ballarat GovHub, both the office block and the public-facing VicRoads site, has been re-listed as Tier 2 exposure sites. Meanwhile, Melbourne is bracing for its fourth day of protests, as police report fewer demonstrators are tradies angered by mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations or the construction industry shutdown. READ MORE: About 300 to 400 protesters again swarmed the Victorian capital on Wednesday, despite stay-at-home orders and repeated warnings from authorities. Chanting “every day” from the Shrine of Remembrance, hundreds without masks – some still wearing high-visibility clothing – marched through the city to the war memorial. Heavily armed police surrounded the shrine, leading to a tense stand-off with protesters that lasted about three hours. ROADMAP: Grampians hospitality businesses react to Victorian Government COVID roadmap Riot squad members appeared to fire tear gas, rubber bullets and other non- lethal rounds when some of the mob became increasingly hostile and refused to leave. Two officers suffered head injuries after bottles were thrown at them. Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther said 215 arrests were made over the course of the day and condemned the occupation of the shine for political purposes. “It was completely disrespectful that the crowd ended up at the shrine, which is such hallowed ground in this great city,” he said. RSL Victoria said the mob had disrespected the sanctity of the sacred site, while Shrine of Remembrance chair Stephen Bowater called it “disgraceful”. SEE THE ROADMAP TO REOPENING Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the gathering at the shrine, telling reporters in Washington “the conduct was disgraceful”. “This is a sacred place, it’s not a place of protest. It was disrespectful and it dishonoured those Australians who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “I would hope any and all who were engaged in that disgraceful behaviour, would be ashamed.” Veterans’ Affairs Minister Andrew Gee said protesters should be condemned in the strongest possible terms and should apologise. “There can be no justification for this outrage,” he said. The protests initially began in opposition to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the construction sector and the closure of building site tea rooms, but have since turned into wider unrest. “Our general observation from the people on the ground was that there weren’t as many tradies involved,” Mr Guenther said. Police took a more aggressive approach to the mob after they wreaked havoc on the West Gate Freeway on Tuesday, and plan to keep them guessing. “We will vary our tactics tomorrow. But, of course, my message is don’t come into the city,” the deputy commissioner said. Liberal MP Bernie Finn criticised the heavy police presence in a Facebook post on Wednesday night. “I have always been a staunch supporter of the men and women of Victoria Police. I can’t extend that support to the modern incarnation of the Despot’s militia. It horrifies me,” he said. Fellow Liberal MP Brad Battin responded in a comment underneath the post, saying Mr Finn’s opinion is “not the view of the Liberal Party”. “The police are delivering on bad laws by a terrible government. The front line can’t choose which laws to follow. As a former police officer I understand what it is like to face protesters – it is not great,” Mr Battin said. Victoria recorded 628 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths on Wednesday. – with AAP The Stawell Times-News has removed the paywall from our stories relating to health warnings and safety of the community. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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Victoria has recorded 766 new COVID cases, as Ballarat wakes to eased restrictions.

There were also four deaths recorded.

The daily morning update no longer includes data on how many cases are classified as mystery cases.

There were 62,408 tests processed and 40,957 Victorians received a vaccine dose at state-run hubs.

Ballarat’s lockdown was lifted on Wednesday night, removing the five reasons to leave the house – while masks are still required and home visits are still banned, people are able to see up to 10 other people outside, and retail and hospitality can reopen with density quotients.

The Ballarat GovHub, both the office block and the public-facing VicRoads site, has been re-listed as Tier 2 exposure sites.

Meanwhile, Melbourne is bracing for its fourth day of protests, as police report fewer demonstrators are tradies angered by mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations or the construction industry shutdown.

About 300 to 400 protesters again swarmed the Victorian capital on Wednesday, despite stay-at-home orders and repeated warnings from authorities.

Chanting “every day” from the Shrine of Remembrance, hundreds without masks – some still wearing high-visibility clothing – marched through the city to the war memorial.

Heavily armed police surrounded the shrine, leading to a tense stand-off with protesters that lasted about three hours.

Riot squad members appeared to fire tear gas, rubber bullets and other non- lethal rounds when some of the mob became increasingly hostile and refused to leave.

Two officers suffered head injuries after bottles were thrown at them. Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther said 215 arrests were made over the course of the day and condemned the occupation of the shine for political purposes.

“It was completely disrespectful that the crowd ended up at the shrine, which is such hallowed ground in this great city,” he said.

RSL Victoria said the mob had disrespected the sanctity of the sacred site, while Shrine of Remembrance chair Stephen Bowater called it “disgraceful”.

SEE THE ROADMAP TO REOPENING

Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the gathering at the shrine, telling reporters in Washington “the conduct was disgraceful”.

“This is a sacred place, it’s not a place of protest. It was disrespectful and it dishonoured those Australians who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

“I would hope any and all who were engaged in that disgraceful behaviour, would be ashamed.”

Veterans’ Affairs Minister Andrew Gee said protesters should be condemned in the strongest possible terms and should apologise.

“There can be no justification for this outrage,” he said.

The protests initially began in opposition to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the construction sector and the closure of building site tea rooms, but have since turned into wider unrest.

“Our general observation from the people on the ground was that there weren’t as many tradies involved,” Mr Guenther said.

Police took a more aggressive approach to the mob after they wreaked havoc on the West Gate Freeway on Tuesday, and plan to keep them guessing.

“We will vary our tactics tomorrow. But, of course, my message is don’t come into the city,” the deputy commissioner said.

Liberal MP Bernie Finn criticised the heavy police presence in a Facebook post on Wednesday night.

“I have always been a staunch supporter of the men and women of Victoria Police. I can’t extend that support to the modern incarnation of the Despot’s militia. It horrifies me,” he said.

Fellow Liberal MP Brad Battin responded in a comment underneath the post, saying Mr Finn’s opinion is “not the view of the Liberal Party”.

“The police are delivering on bad laws by a terrible government. The front line can’t choose which laws to follow. As a former police officer I understand what it is like to face protesters – it is not great,” Mr Battin said.

Victoria recorded 628 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths on Wednesday.

The Stawell Times-News has removed the paywall from our stories relating to health warnings and safety of the community. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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