Disturbing detail in Melbourne protest photo as thousands gather

Thousands of people have gathered in Melbourne's CBD for another protest against the state government's pandemic bill.

Protesters took to the streets on Saturday, blocking tram lines as they marched from the state library to parliament.

Signs saying "Kill the Bill" were seen at the protest, while one person was seen carrying homemade gallows with three nooses.

Among those marching was former Liberal MP Craig Kelly, who is now the leader of the United Australia Party (UAP).

He promised a UAP candidate would run in every seat in the next federal election as the party will be "coming after Labor and the Liberal parties".

"And after that next election, we'll put legislation through that federal parliament that will bring Daniel Andrew to his knees," Mr Kelly yelled as the crowd cheered.

A Melbourne protester holds up gallows with nooses attached at the rally through the CBD.
Thousands turned up to protest a pandemic bill in Melbourne. One person was spotted holding up gallows with three nooses. Source: Nine News

The protests came as Victoria added 1221 new infections to its Covid-19 caseload while recording another four virus-related deaths.

Another gripe protesters had was mandatory Covid vaccinations, with many holding signs expressing resistance to getting the jab.

"We are being governed by medical bureaucrats that are part of a mad, insane cult of vaccinists," he told the rally.

The deadline for construction workers to be fully vaccinated to continue working on site has been reached.

The controversial mandate, which sparked violent protests across Melbourne in September, requires all tradies to have had two vaccine doses by Saturday.

Victorian aged-care workers must be fully vaccinated by Monday and about one million of the state's essential workers in total will be required to be double-jabbed by November 26.

Anyone with a valid medical exemption will be able to continue working.

Victoria is now 86 per cent double vaccinated for everyone aged 12 and over.

Covid vaccines have been proven to not only be safe, but data shows ICU admissions and deaths were “far lower” among those who were fully vaccinated, compared to those who are unvaccinated.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) rigorously tested the Covid vaccines in Australia to ensure the jab's "expected benefits outweigh the potential risks before allowing them to be registered in Australia".

Aerial photos of the crowds in Melbourne's CBD during the 'Kill The Bill' protest.
Some carried signs calling for vaccine mandates to cease and calling for the state to 'kill the bill'. Source: Twitter/@newsheli

The bill that sparked the protests

The Lower House passed the Public Health and Wellbeing (Pandemic Management) Bill back in October.

The laws would give the premier power to declare a pandemic and extend emergency conditions for three months at a time, for as long as considered necessary.

During a pandemic, the health minister will be given "broad powers" to introduce public health measures such as lockdowns, mask mandates and quarantine requirements.

Such powers currently reside with the chief health officer who is not an elected official.

The bill is set to be debated in the Upper House next week.

A bird's eye view of the streets of Melbourne during the protests.
The protests were calling for the state's Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 to be killed. Source: Nine News

The fate of the bill is relying on the support of Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick, Reason Party MP Fiona Patten and Greens leader Samantha Ratnam.

Mr Meddick believes the debate around the bill has become too heated, saying the Opposition and other independent MPs for deliberately misinterpreting the bill.

"This absolutely deplorable behaviour that could potentially see scenes here in Victoria reminiscent of what we saw in the US Capitol," he told ABC Radio Melbourne on Thursday.

"It's a genuine fear... that we will see re-enactments of what has occurred in the UK where MPs are actually killed and this is something that I'm desperately trying to avoid."

with AAP

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